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Social media crazes in the Israeli military have seen a number of soldiers behaving in ways “unbecoming of the spirit of the IDF" – videos of soldiers dancing to Internet fads like the Harlem Shake could damage the IDF's image, officials said.
It is believed that viral videos run against the government's attempts to use social media as an effective propaganda tool. Although the IDF boasts its own official Facebook page and Twitter feed, there are fears that 'unauthorized’ materials could harm the image of the military where most young Israeli men and women aged 18 to 21 are required to serve.
“Just as the government uses social media for explaining, for campaigning, for propaganda or for spinning, it also has to deal with private soldiers using new media. Every soldier is a broadcast station,” Israel’s Center for the Protection of Democracy Executive Director Yizhar Be’er told RT.
Israeli military commanders have been recently told to prevent soldiers from uploading material “not appropriate” to the IDF’s “spirit.”
“It’s the problem of free speech… I don't see how you can control it,” said Dr. Yuval Dror, head of digital media studies at the Middle East college of management-academic studies.
The punishment for such behavior “unbecoming of the spirit of the IDF" can be strict. Earlier this year, two soldiers were sent to military prison for several weeks for posting a clip of their artillery battalion performing a version of the Harlem Shake.
“Under the military code of justice, there is an offense... I think it is sergeant and above... which says in effect any conduct which is unbecoming an IDF soldier would therefore potentially at least expose you to criminal liability. Could actually find yourself in jail if you made an offense under that,” former IDF legal advisor David Benjamin told RT.
IDF officials were also incensed when a group of soldiers turned their patrol in Hebron into a dance number: A video titled 'Battalion 50 Rock the Hebron Casbah' featured six armed soldiers in bulletproof vests who start a Macarena-like dance after a Muslim call to prayer is heard.
“You have to remember that soldiers are 18-year-old kids,” Gil Yogev, who was once an officer with the paratroopers' unit, told RT. Yogev said he would brief his soldiers regularly about what they could and could not post online, but many were careless or childishly unaware of the impact such material could have.
“It is not misuse of power, for them it is just fun,” Yogev added.
“I don't think that the dancing is abusing power, I do think that putting your sniper aim on an innocent person is an abuse of power and I think that this is the distinction that the army should make,” Yuval Dror said.
“You have to remember that soldiers are 18-year-old kids,” Gil Yogev, who was once an officer with the paratroopers' unit, told RT. Yogev said he would brief his soldiers regularly about what they could and could not post online, but many were careless or childishly unaware of the impact such material could have.
“It is not misuse of power, for them it is just fun,” Yogev added.
“I don't think that the dancing is abusing power, I do think that putting your sniper aim on an innocent person is an abuse of power and I think that this is the distinction that the army should make,” Yuval Dror said.
Sacha Dratwa, the head of the IDF’s social media unit, sparked controversy when he uploaded a Facebook photo with dark mud from the Dead Sea smeared on his face, and a caption reading “Obama style.” The picture provoked mixed reactions, with some accusing the 26-year-old of racism. Dratwa claimed he had been misinterpreted.
From Steubenville to India, videos and tweets are being turned against perpetrators of sexual violence
January 10, 2013 |
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A video of a gleeful teenage boy crowing, “She is so raped” and “They raped her quicker than Mike Tyson!” An Instagram image of the same girl of Steubenville, Ohio, limply borne by boys holding wrists and ankles. An 11-year-old girl whose gang rape in Texas last year was discovered by adults via cellphone video, a video she then had to watch when she took the stand. A teenage boy in Canada who posted photos on Facebook of a 16-year-old girl being gang-raped, sentenced last year to probation and ordered to write an essay on “the pros and cons of social media.”
They are a loop of retraumatization, these images replaying sexual violence and the culture around it, but they are something else, too: evidence. They are proof not just for a courtroom that formally recognizes the existence of rape and sexual assault, but for a culture prone to denying it or explaining it away. The evidence is made not by concerned bystanders seeking to document crimes but by the victimizers themselves, who chronicle their actions because they see nothing wrong with them or because they think nothing will happen to them. Often the images are made by people who see only spectacle, not reason for intervention. But in all of these cases, the recorders eventually lost control of their own productions — in Steubenville, for example, the kids’ careless tweets were screen-grabbedby an enterprising blogger. Their own creations were turned against them in the service of justice, if far too late and too often incomplete.
In the crudest journalistic terms, rape is having a moment, from India to Ohio. (Recall how much of last year’s widespread anger at Republican politicians had to do with rape at least as much as reproductive freedom. They’re intimately related, and both concern ownership over bodies that are considered collective property, but not everyone sees the connection.) It’s having a moment on the streets, in both of those places, though even that has had a virtual element, as people all over the world have watched and live-tweeted the livestream of the Steubenville rallies and passed around stories of the Indian protests. Sexual violence remains something that is rarely openly discussed in daily life, but has become something that is urgently talked about on the Internet — by introverts, the semi-anonymous, those with too much to lose, those who named what happened to them too late, all rendered angry activists and confessors.
Sometimes, the survivors of such reproduced assaults take matters into their own hands. “There you go, lock me up. I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell,” wrote 16-year-old Savannah Dietrich on Twitter after naming, in defiance of a court order, the boys who had sexually assaulted her — and photographed it — while she was passed out. “I just wanted to stand up for myself,” she told the Daily Beast recently. “I’ll never take those tweets down.” That same story quoted a legal advocate saying that the new technologies are increasingly used “as a weapon to harass and humiliate the victim,” adding up to “an invasion of privacy beyond what we’ve seen before.” That’s undeniable, but Dietrich chose to use another virtual platform to turn the glare back on the perpetrators.
For survivors of sexual assault for whom there is no public record, creating one by choice — as opposed to your victimizer taking yet another choice away by publicizing it — is a fraught decision. Jaclyn Friedman, co-editor of “Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape,” first wrote about her own experience with rape in 2007, years after it happened, and was immediately subjected to wild claims by people who said they had (totally made-up) information on the case. “When you talk on the Internet about being a survivor of sexual violence, two things will invariably happen,” she said. “You will be surrounded by support and you will be called hateful names and hear abusive things.” She added, ”The Internet is an accelerant, of both the bad and the good. It has the potential to make those violations much worse and much more public, and repeat them in ways that go beyond the most physical act. But it also makes it plain so that anyone can see.”
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Social networking is as much a part of our lives now as any phones or television once were. The ability to keep in touch with people all over the world, meet new friends, keep up with favorite celebrities or be one of the first to know of new entertainment releases has huge benefits.
Social media and search engines interact more and more with each other as we can see from the new Google update from the 17th of February. The update is a great new feature which allows you to see which of your friends have shared a certain page when searching...
When McDonald’s, arguably the most effective marketer of the past 50 years, thinks that a new marketing tool is effective, other marketers should sit up and take notice. And, in their latest promotion for its new McCafe shakes, the marketing gurus behind the Golden Arches are turning to the power of social media and the potential of social networking.
The Internet has transformed the lives of people in every sphere be it business, social interaction or communication. But no other phenomenon can keep pace with the rapid development of social media and the window of opportunity it offers to businesses. Social media started out as a social network dominated by groups of musicians and artists, college students and teenagers...
SEO may be effective at promoting and marketing your business online, but treating this process as the sole tool to your businessâ€™ success is a wrong mindset. The problem with many Internet marketers is that they consider their business as an entity thatâ€™s purely online. They tend to forget that their online business is an entity that may need traditional marketing methods, too. These businesses need direct promotion and need to be advertised to be known.
Online social media has opened up the world to individuals, providing unprecedented access to other people across the globe. While the advance of social media can be argued to be increasing the acceptance of others from different cultural backgrounds, it is also argued to have negative effects. For example, an argument is building stating that social media is creating a...
Social media and social networking will undoubtedly go down as two of the most significant terms coined during the twentieth century. However, as social media becomes less and less a niche activity and more and more a daily thread in the fabric of our existence, will social media continue to play the role that it does and will businesses who use it to attract consumers be able to in the same way?
For human beings, socializing and interacting within a society has been existent throughout the ages. Distance and time constraints were two major factors that restricted such interactions. As an answer to this problem, the emergence of social media sites via the internet and Web has enabled individuals to reach out far...
E-mail campaigns have long been a staple of online marketing; however, the proliferation of scam artists (spam artists?) has bred a high degree of cynicism amongst target audiences who are ever more ready to block e-mails from all-too persistent marketers; or, worse yet, report what appears to be dubious marketing from a website as spam.
Online marketing through social media sites, although a powerful and growing advertising strategy, is relatively new and – as its stands now – overwhelmingly the purview of small business and tech companies.
With the strong emergence of social media in the internet marketing world, every Tom, Dick and Harry has come out saying they are social media experts. They are feeding on the desires of entrepreneurs who do not have time to dedicate to developing their social media presence effectively.
Understandably, the first businesses to make the most of social media have been those of a more web-based frame of mind, the last few years have seen this expand to include major businesses in many sectors. Perhaps more importantly smaller (and medium) sized businesses have begun to flex their social media muscles.
The dialogue about brand management through social media has focused almost exclusively on web presence. Absence is just not an option. Yet despite the push for more and more
Social media is the latest and greatest form of internet marketing to date. Instead of pitching whatever your product or service is in a one-sided format (such as a billboard or television commercial)
On March 9, 1995 Edward Bernays died at the age of 103. His professional endeavors involved seeking to change popular attitudes and behavior by fundamentally altering social reality. Since he laid the modern groundwork for deceiving the public we are for better or worse living out his legacy today.
Several years ago Project Censored directors Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff identified and explained the “truth emergency” that is among the greatest threats to civil society and human existence. This crisis is manifest in flawed (or non-existent) investigations into 9/11 and other potential false flag events, fraudulent elections, and illegal wars vis-à-vis a corporate-controlled news media that fail to adequately inform the public on such matters. While neglecting or obscuring inquiry into such events and phenomena major media disparage independent and often uncredentialed researchers as “conspiracy theorists” or, more revealingly, “truthers.”
The truth emergency continues today, and social engineers like Bernays long understood the significance of undermining the use of reason, for it is only through reason that truth may be determined and evaluated. To be sure, individuals and institutions that have successfully achieved legitimacy in the public mind are recognized as having a monopoly on the capacity to reason and are thus perceived as the foremost bearers of truth and knowledge. Through the endorsement of “experts”—figures perceived as authoritative in their field—the public could easily be persuaded on anything from tobacco use and water fluoridation to military intervention abroad.
Today reason is defined one dimensionally; its relationship to truth largely taken-for-granted. Yet as Leibniz observed, reason marks our humanity, suggesting a portion of the soul capable of a priori recognition of truth. With this in mind the modern individual in the mass has been rendered at least partially soulless through her everyday deferral to the powerfully persuasive notion and representation of expertise. However narrowly focused, under the guise of objectivity the institutionally-affiliated journalist, academic, bureaucrat, and corporate spokesperson have become the portals of reason through which the public is summoned to observe “truth.”
These agents of reason are largely bereft of emotion, moderate in temperament, and speak or write in an unsurprisingly formulaic tone. The narratives they relate and play out present tragedy with the expectation of certain closure. And with a century of commercial media programming the mass mind has come to not only accept but anticipate such regulation and control under the regime of institutionally-sanctioned expertise.
The selection and arrangement of experts by corporate media guarantees a continued monopoly on “truth,” particularly when presented to an uninquisitive and politically dormant public. Yet this phenomenon extends to ostensibly more trustworthy media outlets such as public broadcasting, where a heightened utilization of credentialed expertise is required to ensure the consensus of those who perceive themselves as more refined than the Average Joe.
This preservation of what passes for reason and truth cannot be sustained without a frequent dialectical struggle with unreason and falsity. Since many individuals have unconsciously placed their genuine reasoning faculties in abeyance and often lack a valid knowledge of politics and history, their unspoken faith in government and the broader political economy to protect and further their interests is groundless. Against this milieu those genuinely capable of utilizing their reasoning capacities in the pursuit of truth are often held up as heretical for their failure to accept what is presented as reality, with the requisite “conspiracy theory” label wielded in Orwellian fashion to denote such abnormal intellectual activity.
Lacking the autonomous use of reason to recognize truth, form often trumps substance. For example, a seemingly obscure news website with unconventional graphics or an emotional news presenter purporting to discuss the day’s affairs is typically perceived as untrustworthy and illegitimate by a public conditioned to accept forms of news and information where objectivity and professionalism often camouflage disinformation.
In 2013 the truth emergency is greater than ever, and in the era of seemingly never-ending pseudo-events and Potemkin villages presented by major media as the reality with which we must contend, the application of independent reason in pursuit of truth has all too frequently been replaced with an unthinking obeisance toward the smokescreen of expertise disguising corporate power and control.
 Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff, “Truth Emergency and Media Reform,” Daily Censored, March 31, 2009.
 “Edward Bernays, ‘Father of Public Relations’ and Leader in Opinion Making, Dies at 103,” New York Times, March 10, 1995.
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You can also add to that ten million, countless others whose lives have been sacrificed on the altar of corporate profit, which did not rely on the military to bomb peoples and countries into submission but on the IMF, World Bank and WTO. It begs the question how many lives have been cut short across the world because of the inherent structural violence or silent killing of the everyday functioning of predatory capitalism?
Peddling their high salaried deceptions, they have failed and continue to fail the public and genuinely hold power to account. By shining their ‘investigative’ light on ‘parliamentary procedures’, personalities, the rubber stamping of policies and the inane machinations of party politics, they merely serve to maintain and perpetuate the status quo and keep the public in the dark as to the unaccountable self-serving nature of power broking and the unity ofinterests that enable Big Oil, Big Finance, Big Pharma, Big Agra and the rest of them via their secretive think tanks and policy initiatives to keep bleeding us all dry.
But that’s the role of the media: to help reinforce and reproduce the material conditions of a divisive social system on a daily basis. It’s called having a compliant, toothless media. It’s what the corporate media itself calls part of ‘liberal democracy’. And in this type of 'liberal democracy', it is people like Edward Snowden or Julian Assange who expose the wrongdoings of the political-corporate elites that are hounded.
MI5 targeted labour correspondents in both newspapers and broadcasting right up to the 80s; they were recruited in droves for their contacts with a wide range of trade union officials and with each other. According to Peter Wright, MI5 always had about twenty senior journalists working for it in the national press. “They were not employed directly by us, but we regarded them as agents because they were happy to be associated with us.”
At the BBC, Brigadier Ronald Stonham liaised with MI5 and Special Branch and advised the corporation on whether or not to employ people. Names of applicants for editorial posts in the BBC were similarly ‘vetted’ by MI5.
“There should be times when the journalist, when he’s examined all the facts and tested all his sources, should come down on the side of the government of the day, the established order and the Establishment as a whole.” - Chairman of the Radio Authority
“We are in a period of considerable social change. There may be social unrest, but we can cope with the Toxteths… but if we have a highly-educated and idle population, we may possibly anticipate more serious conflict. People must be educated to once more know their place.” – from a secret Department of Education Report.
International Media Barely Raises Eyebrow over Assassination of Pro-Government Legislator in Venezuela
For years Americans have assumed that our hard-charging capitalism is better than the soft-hearted version found in Canada and Europe. American capitalism might be a bit crueler but it generates faster growth and higher living standards overall. Canada’s and Europe’s “welfare-state socialism” is doomed.
It was a questionable assumption to begin with, relying to some extent on our collective amnesia about the first three decades after World War II, when tax rates on top incomes in the U.S. never fell below 70 percent, a larger portion of our economy was invested in education than before or since, over a third of our private-sector workers were unionized, we came up with Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor, and built the biggest infrastructure project in history, known as the interstate highway system.
But then came America’s big U-turn, when we deregulated, de-unionized, lowered taxes on the top, ended welfare, and stopped investing as much of the economy in education and infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Canada and Europe continued on as before. Soviet communism went bust, and many of us assumed European and Canadian “socialism” would as well.
That’s why recent data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database is so shocking.
The fact is, we’re falling behind. While median per capita income in the United States has stagnated since 2000, it’s up significantly in Canada and Northern Europe. Their typical worker’s income is now higher than ours, and their disposable income – after taxes – higher still.
It’s difficult to make exact comparisons of income across national borders because real purchasing power is hard to measure. But even if we assume Canadians and the citizens of several European nations have simply drawn even with the American middle class, they’re doing better in many other ways.
Most of them get free health care and subsidized child care. And if they lose their jobs, they get far more generous unemployment benefits than we do. (In fact, right now 75 percent of jobless Americans lack any unemployment benefits.)
If you think we make up for it by working less and getting paid more on an hourly basis, think again. There, at least three weeks paid vacation as the norm, along with paid sick leave, and paid parental leave.
We’re working an average of 4.6 percent more hours more than the typical Canadian worker, 21 percent more than the typical French worker, and a whopping 28 percent more than your typical German worker, according to data compiled by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.
But at least Americans are more satisfied, aren’t we? Not really. According to opinion surveys and interviews, Canadians and Northern Europeans are.
But at least we’re the land of more equal opportunity, right? Wrong. Their poor kids have a better chance of getting ahead. While 42 percent of American kids born into poor families remain poor through their adult lives, only 30 percent of Britain’s poor kids remain impoverished – and even smaller percentages in other rich countries.
Yes, the American economy continues to grow faster than the economies of Canada and Europe. But faster growth hasn’t translated into higher living standards for most Americans.
Almost all our economic gains have been going to the top – into corporate profits and the stock market (more than a third of whose value is owned by the richest 1 percent). And into executive pay (European CEOs take home far less than their American counterparts).
America’s rich also pay much lower taxes than do the rich in Canada and Europe.
But surely Europe can’t go on like this. You hear it all the time: They can no longer afford their welfare state.
That depends on what’s meant by “welfare state.” If high-quality education is included, we’d do well to emulate them. Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 rank near the bottom among rich countries in literacy and numeracy. That spells trouble for the U.S. economy in the future.
They’re also doing more workforce training, and doing it better, than we are. The result is more skilled workers.
Universal health care is another part of their “welfare state” that saves them money because healthier workers are more productive.
So let’s put ideology aside. The practical choice isn’t between capitalism and “welfare-state socialism.” It’s between a system that’s working for a few at the top, or one that’s working for just about everyone. Which would you prefer?
Could you imagine the uproar in the mainstream media that we would see if a member of a politically favored class of people was crucified for who or what they are? There would be front page headlines for weeks. But because members of a politically favored class (Muslims) are doing it to members of a [...]
René Perez, Lead Singer and Composer of Calle 13
Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - Puerto Rico’s Calle 13 Collaborated on a new album with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine (RATM) and Palestinian Singer Kamilya Jubran. Other tracks on the album feature author of Open Veins of Latin America, Eduardo Galeano. The album called ‘Multi_Viral’ against news manipulation and political repression is to be released this coming March. It is political and indeed very interesting. It is a new generation of protest music that will grab worldwide attention. According to an online magazine www.venuemagazine.com:
Multi_Viral is Calle 13’s first album under their own record label, El Abismo (The Abyss), allowing them to have more creative and artistic freedom than ever before. “An artist should have control over their art in every way possible”, says René, vocalist and songwriter of the band. It’s this state-of-mind that has set Calle 13 apart from the reggaeton genre pushing boundaries with satirical lyrics and social commentary about Latin American issues and culture
Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks, a non-profit news organization that gained worldwide attention when they released 250,000 US classified documents to several news outlets which exposed the U.S. government’s global agenda. Julian Assange is currently residing in an Ecuadorian embassy in London, England after Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa granted him Diplomatic Asylum. Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine (RATM), An American rock band known for their political views, critical of the US government’s policies which reflect in their music. It also features Kamilya Jubran who is a Palestinian singer born in Akka, within the State of Israel. Kamilya was Sabreen’s lead song performer, and player of several oriental instruments including the Oud and the Qanoon among others. In her official website it says “From 1982 to 2002, Kamilya along with Sabreen represented the voice of resistance; struggle for freedom, and a deep and dynamic artistic-political process that created a new style of a modern Arabic song.”
The Buenos Aires Herald wrote a story called ‘Calle 13 multi-viral trend’ and said that “Calle 13 will then take its vigorous message through the Caribbean, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada. Highlighting its true commitment to social and political issues, band members René Pérez and stepbrother Eduardo Cabra go by the most telling nicknames of “Resident” and “Visitor” respectively.” Calle 13 is releasing a new album that exposes the mainstream media. “After seven years on the road and releasing no albums with new material, Calle 13’s Multi-viral was published under its own label, El Abismo. In keeping with its spirit, Multi-viral was cowritten by René Pérez and Julian Assange to address the manipulation of information in the media” the report said. The Associated Press reported on December 2013 on Rene Perez’s comments on Palestine’s political situation in comparison to Puerto Rico ‘Calle 13 singer says Palestinians like Puerto Rico.’ It said:
Speaking to the Associated Press in Bethlehem, where he is shooting the band’s latest music video, Rene Perez said Puerto Ricans were linked to Palestinians “because we are a colony of the United States. Here you have the situation with Israel.
Perez, also known as Residente, added that Puerto Rico and the Palestinians both have “cosmetic” governments. “Here most people want to be free, they fight for their country,” he said in the West Bank city, the traditional birthplace of Jesus. “It would be good to start building bridges between Palestine and Puerto Rico
The Associated Press also reported that Calle 13 is anti-establishment:
Perez, who performs along with his step-brother Eduardo Cabra, has emerged as a leading antiestablishment rapper and is a strong supporter of the Puerto Rican independence movement. Calle 13 has a long history of lacing social messages over bass-thumping beats
Perez said he chose to come to the Palestinian territories to shoot the majority of the band’s latest video, “Multi Viral.” He said the song is about manipulation of the media and how it distorts information. He said he worked on the song with Tom Morello, a former guitarist with Rage Against the Machine, and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
“I think music never stops being music. It always keeps being music and the message can be social, political, anything,” Perez said.
Recently the New York Times published an article about Calle 13’s new album ‘Still Rebels, Even as Maturity Looms’:
Multi_Viral,” Calle 13’s fifth album, is the work of a duo reckoning with both its global perspective and its contentious artistic impulses, determined to maintain a rebellious spirit even as maturity looms. Mr. Pérez described his new lyrics as “more existential” than previous Calle 13 efforts.
“Suddenly I’ve started to be more aware, or worried, about living and dying,” Mr. Pérez, 36, said. “I thought, maybe I can do something bigger than politics”
It is much bigger than politics; in fact it is about exposing what the media conveys to the public as truth. It also exposes other Global issues the world is facing.
Multi-viral music video is in Spanish, English and Arabic.
British trade union leader Bob Crow died suddenly at age 52 on Tuesday of a suspected heart attack. He had been leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union since 2002. Once described as a ‘dinosaur’, a relic from a different period, he stayed firm to his left wing principles and fought tooth and nail for his members’ rights. On hearing about his passing, former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said:
In World War II, the United States fought against rabidly anti-Semitic fascists. In 2014, the United States helps them overthrow democratically-elected governments. And the sick thing is that the mainstream media is acting an an accomplice because it is purposely ignoring or greatly playing down the rabid anti-Semitism in Ukraine. The anti-Semitism of many [...]
Major power utilities continue to deploy “smart” electrical meters on businesses and private residences throughout the United States and Canada. Yet those in North America and elsewhere remain in the dark on the negative health effects of such devices that systematically blast their homes with radio-frequency (RF) radiation on a minute-by-minute, round-the-clock basis.
In 2009 the Obama administration partnered with utilities by allocating $3.4 billion in federal stimulus funds toward building a nationwide “smart grid,” where smart meters figure centrally. The project is part of President Obama’s “Climate Action Plan” that under United Nations auspices seeks to reduce US carbon emissions 20% by the year 2020.
There is more than ample research available that has associated negative health effects of RF radiation emitted by smart meters  for regulatory authorities to place restrictions on power utilities and compel them to abide by the precautionary principle. Such restrictions would require power providers to refrain from wide scale installation of smart meters until a sufficient body of scientific research demonstrating the safety of such devices has been produced and rigorously evaluated.
Yet in the US and elsewhere the imperative of having a “smart grid,” the prospect of a carbon trading scheme, lax (and in at least some cases corrupt) state and federal regulatory bodies, and the sheer power of the utilities combine to jeopardize the long term health of the entire population.
In a purportedly democratic society news outlets play a decisive role in such an impending health crisis. By failing to report on the dubious health research of smart meters and the fact that the public is being involuntarily subjected to such technology, news media are a key factor in the citizenry’s continued ignorance and inaction.
In May 2011 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer categorized “radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless cellphone use.” Despite this warning from a well-recognized source, the utilities stubbornly insist that all residences must be equipped with a smart meter issuing dangerous electropollution.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ceased studying the health effects of radiofrequency radiation when the Senate Appropriations Committee cut the department’s funding and forbade it from further research into the area. Thereafter RF limits were codified as mere “guidelines” based on the EPA’s tentative findings and are presently overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
These weakly enforced standards are predicated on the alleged “thermal effect” of RF to which the FCC subscribes. In other words, if the energy emitted from a wireless antenna or device is not powerful enough to heat the skin or flesh then no danger is posed to human health.
To this day power utilities cling to this severely outmoded and unscientific standard when confronted with the formidable body of research linking RF to cancer, destruction of DNA, and other negative health effects. News media seldom question the FCC policy when it is cited by utilities and regulators alike to underline the supposed overall safety of smart meters.
An electronic LexisNexis search of newspaper articles referencing “smart meters” appearing between May 31, 2011, the date WHO classified RF a Class 2B carcinogen, and June 19, 2014, yields close to 839 pieces published in English language papers. Yet for the same time span only one tenth of the sample (82 articles) mentions “smart meters” and “carcinogen” or “carcinogenic” in the same report. Of these, 65 of the articles appeared in Canadian, and to a much lesser degree Australian or UK papers. Note that each sample includes guest editorials and letters to the editor penned by concerned citizens.
Using parameters from the date May 31, 2011, the date WHO declared RF a Class 2B carcinogen, to January 19, 2014, of 93 newspaper articles referencing “smart meter” and “World Health Organization,” 76 were published in Canadian, and to a much lesser degree UK, Australian, Malaysian or New Zealand outlets.
As the above suggests, the extremely limited awareness especially in the US of the potential health consequences of exposure to the continual RF emitted by smart meters is primarily because the issue is being blacked out in the press. When such dangers are reported, they are tempered by the refrain of the FCC’s “thermal effect” policy, which in light of the abundant countervailing research amounts to disinformation.
In December 2013 I contacted the reporter at the local metro-daily Palm Beach Post covering the state power utility, Florida Power and Light, and its smart meter policy to remind her of the bevy of public health and medical research documenting the likely consequences of sustained RF exposure. I also directed her to the WHO statement classifying RF as potentially carcinogenic.
To the Post’s credit a subsequent story highlighting Florida Power and Light’s “opt out” policy referenced the WHO statement. Yet the piece appeared deep in the business section of the paper, and the WHO warning was accompanied by the Florida Public Service Commission’s familiar rejoinder.
In 2011 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields such as those emitted by cellular phones, microwaves and smart meters as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
The PSC has said its authority does not extend to health issues related to meters. Smart meters are certified for compliance with radio frequency emission standards by the Federal Communications Commission, and the FCC has deemed that meters in compliance with the standards do not have adverse health impacts.
While one or more hidden agendas likely exist to keep the public unaware of the health dangers associated with RF and smart meters (again, think carbon trading, in addition to the social control possibilities via energy rationing and surveillance soon to be realized through the “smart grid,”) a more immediate cause for such censorship is simply profit and continued media monopoly control of public opinion and discourse.
The telecommunications industry whose services are largely predicated on RF has recently exhibited the largest growth in advertising outlays, which are surely recognized in bottom line terms by the news and media industries. With potential continued revenue growth on this scale, raising questions and relaying information that can safeguard public health and allow citizens to ask intelligent questions concerning the health of themselves and their loved ones simply constitutes poor business practice.
 “President Obama Announces $3.4 Billion Investment to Spur Transition to Smart Energy Grid,” The White House, October 27, 2009.
 Ed King, “Obama Promises to Cut Carbon Pollution in Climate Action Plan,” Responding to Climate Change, June 26, 2013.
 World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer, “IARC Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as Possibly Carcinogenic,” May 31, 2011.
 Susan Luzzaro, “Field of Cell Phone Tower Beams,” San Diego Reader, May 18, 2011,
 FCC Office of Engineering and Technology, http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety. See also James F. Tracy “Wireless Technology and the Accelerated Toxification of America,” memoryholeblog.com, July 7, 2012.
 When this author obtained documents through a public records request from the Florida Public Service Commission on Florida Power and Light’s smart meter campaign–a very simple and routine endeavor for any journalist–it was evident that no human health impact studies on statewide smart meter deployment were ever considered. The PSC merely accepted FPL’s rationale and related public relations literature.
 Susan Salisbury, “Media Opt-Out Fee to Be Considered, PSC Staff Proposes Enrollment, Monthly Cost for Device For Device Foes,” Palm Beach Post, January 3, 2014, B4.
 “Ad Spend By Sector: Consumer Goods and Telecom Take the Cake in 2012,” Nielsen.com, April 25, 2013.
Republished at GlobalResearch.ca on January 21, 2014.
By James F. Tracy
One year ago a national media frenzy ensued over my analysis and observations of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre event of December 14, 2012. Evidence that has since emerged since, including the State of Connecticut’s curiously expurgated official report released December 27, has overall tended to confirm such observations. My initial series of articles was circulated widely in alternative news outlets in late December 2012 and early January 2013. Yet not until the South Florida Sun-Sentinel interviewed me and published a rather inflammatory story on January 7 did a select set of my remarks subsequently “go viral” in major news media via the Drudge Report.
I was initially startled with the fervent backlash exhibited in corporate media outlets (below), as well as the progressive-left blogosphere. As far as I can gather, the outrage centered around 1) the conclusion upon considerable analysis that what the media publicized about a profoundly tragic event was at best only partially true, 2) my purportedly bizarre and speculative belief that a swell guy like President Barack Obama and his well-meaning administration would ever, well, act like politicians and seek to hoodwink the public, especially in such a brazen fashion, and 3) the fact that such remarks were being voiced publicly by a “tenured university [censored].”
While at times personally unnerving, the experience was instructive in that it strongly confirmed much of what I continue to study and teach—the powerful influence exerted by the government-corporate media nexus in terms of pushing certain emotional buttons to channel, manipulate and, where necessary, stifle debate on extremely important issues and events.
In my view, it was not surprising or unusual that something like Sandy Hook had transpired in the US, particularly given historical precedents in Dunblane, Scotland and Port Arthur, Australia. Still, I found it unsettling that a large majority of the public—including friends and colleagues—allowed for themselves to be swayed by their blasé reliance on headlines and sound-bites versus taking the time to actually read and engage with what I had written.
Further, while a handful came forward to point out the contradiction that I was being publicly excoriated and my livelihood threatened for essentially doing what I was trained and hired to do—media analysis and criticism—my employer’s response was not to defend academic freedom and free speech, but rather to disavow my remarks, hold a breakfast fundraiser for one of Newtown’s multitude of charities, and eventually reprimand me for using the professional salutation “[censored]” on my personal blog and elsewhere.
While my tenure was ultimately upheld, one is left to seriously ponder the informal yet persuasive constraints placed in intellectuals today who concretely address certain controversial issues and topics. Only a brief survey of today’s lamentably somber and often inane public discourse is necessary to conclude that tenure is far too infrequently used in the fashion originally intended—to allow academics to research with impunity the topics of their choosing that may prove inflammatory, particularly to some who may wield enough political influence to have them disciplined or fired.
There is in fact room for academics to engage in controversial topics, yet one must know how to strike the appropriate chord between axe grinding and well-mannered career advancement. For example, it was recently high-fives all around at my institution when a colleague secured a fellowship with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a neoconservative think tank that has vigorously advocated the disastrous and criminal “Bush Doctrine” against Iraq and urges similarly brutal military action against Iran. Another social scientist is affiliated with the AIPAC-controlled Washington Institute for Near East Policy. No conspiracy mongering here, only implicit acknowledgement of which way the political winds blow, however tainted they may be.
KABC-AM (Radio)1/8/2013 10:58:40 AM
Los Angeles, CA
there are radio station that are allowing people on the air to say that the whole new down master never have right now to Florida Atlantic University professor saying it never happened it was a Obama push to push gun control advocate the day of wagging the dog , and said Finnigan Ladino music made the marathon for roughly the size of everything before her fourth really ` don’t go away with a lot of thought about a two percent tax on everyone on ABC’s Richard Davies with today’s text it for the past couple of years workers of enjoying a two percent reduction in Social Security tax they pay the debts into and on December thirty first Imperial holiday
WTVJ-MIA (NBC)1/8/2013 11:15:38 AM
NBC 6 South Florida Today at 11am
the grammy winning singer was found dead at her london home in july of 2011. >>> a communication professor known for conspiracy theories is now stirring up controversy at florida atlantic university. 47-year-old james tracy claims last month’s newtown, connecticut, shootings didn’t happen as reported. goes onto say even perhaps it didn’t happen at all. tracy says there’s not enough evidence to support that one gunman killed 20 students and six staff members. the professor says he knows he sparked all kinds of controversy on campus, but he would like his students to look at events in a more critical way. fau, by the way, distancing
WFLA-AM (Radio)1/8/2013 3:14:32 PM
there and then not before sunset both covering the story of four kilometers dear here … from mother Sun Sentinel they publish this late last night for inclusion in the paper today and the online last night FAA you professor stirs controversy by disputing the new town Connecticut master are you are you kidding me of a lesson of Looney Tunes stuff you a piece written by Mike Larry Sun Sentinel a communication professor known for conspiracy theories has stirred controversy at Florida Atlantic
WPEC (CBS)1/8/2013 5:07:07 PM
West Palm Beach, FL
CBS 12 News—5:00
claiming that the newton massacre leaving 26 people dead – including several kids… was a hoax. (2shot) the florida atlantic university professor making the bizarre comments on his personal blog. john cbs 12′s lynn gordon spoke to students who say the professor’s claims are not only outrageous, they’re giving the school a black eye. trt 1:53 5:27:49 that fau ( look live intro) professor creating quite a controversy with a blog that suggests the sandy hook massacre may not have happened as reported or maybe didnt happen at all 5:27:58 ( newtown file) its one of the worst mass shootings in our nation’s history. the massacre at sandy hook elementary in newtown connecticut where 20 children and six adults were murdered in cold blood last month 5:25:10 i think its kind of craxzy that a professor would say somethng lke that it def happened ( photo of tracy) students are referring to
WPLG-MIA (ABC)1/8/2013 5:36:32 PM
Local 10 News @ 5PM
a professor at florida atlantic university is raising questions about what happened at sandy hook elementary school in connecticut last month. in a blog post james tracy asked in the if the shooting was a conspiracy and if the media are asking the right questions. tracy says it’s worth asking if the shooting was politically motivated. f.a.u. is distancing itself from those comments. >>> 20-year-old adam lanza you will remember won’t a shooting rampage at the elementary school, killing 26 people, including 20 children on december 14th. lanza also shot and killed his mom and then turned the gun on himself. >> now to the subject of home here. hope is on the horizon for haiti.
WPBF (ABC)1/8/2013 6:14:47 PM
WPBF 25 News at 6:00
now to wpbf 25 news exclusive a professor at florida atlantic university in boca raton is creating controversy with the conspiracy theory involving the sandy hook school shooting. professor james tracy questions what really happened the day the 20 children and 6 teacher were gunned down in newtown connecticut. on his personal blog he questions whether the shooting was somehow politically motivated to get more gun control. he claims that the lot of missing information. >> there’s just a lot of conflicting information. we don’t have the autopsy on lanza either. it seems like a real stretch
WFLX (FOX)1/8/2013 11:01:39 PM
his bizarre conspiracy theory that suggests the newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. dan corcoran is live on the fau campus in boca raton. dan. his three hour class – called ‘communication and social power’ – just wrapped up a few minutes ago.until now professor james tracy has remained silent about his blog, which has gone viral, over the last couple of days. tracy is not apologizing for his words that he wrote this week on his blog on ‘memory hole dot com’.it was in that writing that he questioned if there were what he refers to
WPEC (CBS)1/8/2013 11:09:50 PM
CBS 12 News—11:00
an FAU professor strikes a nerve here and across the country over his claim that the newtown massacre was a hoax. tonight, “cbs 12″ confronts him and his conspiracy theory. tonight, florida atlantic university is distancing itself from its media professor and his controversial comments but the professor himself is defending his comments. peter schaller spoke with james tracy. peter? >> the professor spoke with us after his communications class tonight. he’s worked here at fau for 10 years and he’s no stranger to controversy. in the past he questioned the
WPBF (ABC)1/9/2013 4:33:57 AM
WPBF 25 News Mornings
morning of a growing controversy… comments made by a florida atlantic university professor. as erin guy shows us.. he suggests the school shooting in newtown, connecticut could have been a government conspiracy. newtown connecticut… december 14th… police say adam lanza walked into sandy hook elementry school… armed with semi automatic weapons and opened fire… killing 20 children and 6 adults… but now a florida atlantic university professor james tracey … is questioning what really happened… saying on his blog quote: “while it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the sandy hook shooting ever took place-at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.” on his blog he askes. how did lanza fire so many shots in a short amount
WDBO-FM (Radio)1/9/2013 5:31:47 AM
after he claimed a personal blog that he said he hoped elementary school shooting made a massive conspiracy W. DBO’s Ken Kendall and Marcia Taylor began our life can coverage of Prof. James Tracy a lighted the conspiracy involving law enforcement and federal government and the mass media to leave your country Johnson digging through those blogs this morning and an interview the professor did just couple days ago that Dr. Tricia question how Atlanta was able to fire off so many shots in such a little amount of time he also
WFLX (FOX)1/9/2013 6:12:07 AM
West Palm Beach, FL
“florida atlantic university” professor. james tracy says he won’t apologize for what he wrote on his blog on “memory-hole-dot-com.” his conspiracy theory suggests the newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. on his blog, he questioned if there were what he refers to as “crisis actors” hired by the government during the massacre. now, he’s speaking out– saying why he wrote it and what he wants every american to think about.”in terms of saything that sandy hook, the newtown massacre, did not take place is really a simplification – an oversimplification – of what i said. i said that there may very well be elements of that event that are synthetic to some degree, that are somewhat contrived. i think that
WRTV-IN (ABC)1/9/2013 6:37:51 AM
RTV 6 Good Morning Indiana
and defending his bizarre conspiracy theory that suggests the newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. florida atlantic university professor james tracy talked to our scripps station in west palm beach about his blog. tracy writes that there were ‘crisis actors’ hired during the massacre…and the shooting was a ‘set up’ by the obama administration/’85to prompt more strict gun control regulations. but he now says his ideas were over-simplified. > >”in terms of saything that sandy hook, the newtown massacre, did not take place is really a simplification – an
KSHB-KC (NBC)1/9/2013 6:33:27 AM
Kansas City, MO
newtown, connecticut school massacre may have been a government plan. florida atlantic professor james tracy wrote on his blog this week that he questioned if there were what he refers to as ‘crisis actors’ hired during the massacre in newtown. he also claims the shooting was a ‘set up’ by the obama administrationa to prompt stricter gun control regulations. (curtis) new this morning– a man wanted in monday’s quadruple murder in tulsa– was arrested in kansas. our scripps station in tulsa has learned joseph tillman was arrested in independence, kansas– near the oklahoma border. he was wanted in connection with a separate assault. police believe he may also know something about the
WJXT-JAX1/9/2013 7:40:22 AM
The Morning Show
shooting. he says it may not have happened. these new claims — by a professor at florida atlantic university — are really causing a stir. james tracy is basing them on the early reports filed during the incident. he says the timeline confusion shows a coordinated effort to hide the so-called “real” story. for example, at one point it was thought there were two shooters. florida atlantic university is distancing itself — saying the conspiracy professor does not speak for the university and tracy was writing on his personal blog page. how much do you like cockroaches? if you’re
KTRS-AM (Radio)1/9/2013 7:39:27 AM
St. Louis, MO
and I believe for Atlanta Gazette not the site of where the Cardinals of his returning that right there is right yet it’s close all floors like right altogether but not elapsed on the of America Abaco was a right afforded when it is not women’s I can’t believe that town were formulaic is to Ezra’s Roto-Rooter area within this professor from their is making some claims about this in the book of school shootings in Newtown Connecticut he’s saying that it really didn’t happen and that it was just the Obama administration’s effort to sway public opinion in favor of gun control up professor is saying this professor
FAU Professor Makes Surprising Comment (WIOD NewsRadio 610 (Miami) © 01/08/2013) Indexed Jan 8 2013 9:23PM
FAU Professor Makes Surprising Comment An FAU professor under fire for saying the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut may …
FAU professor says Newtown school massacre might have been faked to push gun control (WPEC News 12 Palm Beach County © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in Daily KOS , Indexed Jan 8 2013 1:24PM
FAU professor says Newtown school massacre might have been faked to push gun …control Posted by Scott T. Smith / CBS12 News BOCA RATON, Fla. –
A Florida Atlantic University assistant professor says the Sandy Hook school massacre may never have happened, …to impose gun control. James Tracy, who has taught media studies at FAU
FAU students react to professor’s conspiracy theory (Palm Beach Gardens-WPBF (ABC) © 01/09/2013) Indexed Jan 9 2013 3:42AM
FAU students react to professors conspiracy theory Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy raised questions about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary …law enforcement authorities and the nations news media have described.”Students on Florida Atlantic University reacted after hearing about Tracys comments.Kenson Delva said his comments are …a real debate on gun control.” Alex Jeanty is a senior at FAUand said its too soon…
(Fox News © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in WOLF Orlando, Indexed Jan 8 2013 2:24PM
…Connecticut really happened. James Tracy, an associate professor of media history at Florida Atlantic University , made the bizarre claim on his personal blog memoryholeblog.com, writing that …for himself. “James Tracy does not speak for the university,” Lisa Metcalf, FAU ’s director of media relations, told FoxNews.com in an email. “The website on which his post appeared is not affiliated with FAU in any way. As for any previous disciplinary actions …
Newtown leader condemns professor who suggested school massacre was ‘drill’ (Fox News © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in KBND News Radio, Indexed Jan 8 2013 10:24PM
…community really happened. James Tracy, an associate professor of media history at Florida Atlantic University , made the bizarre claim on his personal blog memoryholeblog.com, writing that …for himself. “James Tracy does not speak for the university,” Lisa Metcalf, FAU ’s director of media relations, told FoxNews.com in an email. “The website on which his post appeared is not affiliated with FAU in any way. As for any previous disciplinary actions at…
NUTTY PROFESSOR? FAU Prof Suggests Obama Behind Sandy Hook (Boca News Now © 01/08/2013) **Also ran in Bayoubuzz Indexed Jan 8 2013 9:44PM
NUTTY PROFESSOR? FAU Prof Suggests Obama Behind Sandy Hook BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Florida Atlantic University (FAU ) officials are distancing themselves from communications professor James Tracy who on his …
Obama staged Newtown shooting with ‘crisis actors,’ says professor who is totally not a crackpot (Daily KOS © 01/08/2013) Indexed Jan 8 2013 5:44PM
…all: A communication professor known for conspiracy theories has stirred controversary at Florida Atlantic University with claims that last months Newtown, Conn., school shootings did not happen …not speak for the university” and his website is “not affiliated with FAU in any way.” But lest you think that this lunatic is, you …
Professor makes no apologies for calling Conn. massacre a hoax (WPEC News 12 Palm Beach County © 01/09/2013) Indexed Jan 9 2013 3:34AM
…School massacre are creating a national controversy. Its not so much that FAU professor James Tracy doesnt believe the tragedy happened, but that he believes …could have done a better job,” Tracy said. Tracy has taught at FAU for ten years and is no stranger to controversy. Hes questioned the …reading the media stories about his blog than the blog itself. FAU Media Relations Director Lisa Metcalf says that Tracys views do not reflect …those of the universi…
Professor’s Ridiculous Newtown Theory Gets Internet Wings (Associated Content © 01/08/2013) Indexed Jan 8 2013 5:24PM
…use “whippersnapper” these days, but nonetheless, the words of a professor at Florida Atlantic Universityhave escaped their little corner of the South. Before the grand scheme …
1/9/2013 – New York Daily News – Florida conspiracy professor suggests Sand Hook massacre didn’t occur, was cooked up by Obama to promote gun control
1/9/2013 – Web Pro News – Prof: Newtown Didn’t Happen The Way We Think It Did
1/9/2013 – WBDO Orlando – FAU professor under fire for blog comments on Newtown shooting
1/8/2013 – Fox 8 Cleveland – Prof: Newtown Didn’t Happen
1/8/2013 – DesMoines Register – Florida professor, a U of I grad, stirs up controversy by disputing Newtown shooting
1/8/2013 – KSEE News 24 – College Professor Creates Controversy with Claims Connecticut School Shooting Never Happened
1/8/2013 – The Inquisitr – Florida Professor James Tracy Claims Sandy Hook Might Be A Hoax
1/8/2013 – Christian Post – Professor Claims Newtown Shooting Was Likely Staged
1/8/2013 – Radar Online – Whacko Professor Says Sandy Hook School Shooting Didn’t Happen, Was Hoax By Obama Administration
1/8/2013 – Opposing Views – Professor James Tracy Claims Sandy Hook Shooting May Not Have Happened
1/8/2013 – International Business Times – Professor Claims Sandy Hook Shooting Did Not Happen As Believed, Sees Political Agenda
1/8/2013 – Human Events – Florida Professor Questions the Newtown Massacre
1/8/2013 – Orlando Sentinel – Daughter of Eustis coach has dreams of becoming Olympic speedskater
1/9/2013 – Broward Palm Beach New Times – James Tracy, FAU Professor, Says Sandy Didn’t Happen; Revels In Notoriety
1/9/2013 – Miami New Times – FAU Professor Thinks Sandy Hook Massacre May Have Been A Media Conspiracy
1/9/2013 – The Holiday Gossip – Newtown Didn’t Happen, Professor Claims
The west coast of the United States is being absolutely fried by radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the mainstream media is not telling us the truth about this. What you are about to see is a collection of evidence that is quite startling. Taken collectively, this body of evidence shows that nuclear [...]
2014 Will Bring More Social Collapse Paul Craig Roberts 2014 is upon us. For a person who graduated from Georgia Tech in 1961, a year in which the class ring showed the same date right side up or upside down,…
The post 2014 Will Bring More Social Collapse — Paul Craig Roberts appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.
In spite of heavy, wet snow falling on Capitol Hill, a coalition of peace, anti-hunger, anti-poverty, environmental and community groups came together to voice its objections to what it calls “runaway, dangerous military spending.”
In a press conference in the Cannon Office Building, speakers called on the Congressional Budgetary Committee to pass a budget resolution that re-directs military spending to domestic needs that serve “people, peace and the planet.” They then presented their proposed budget and supporting petitions to staffers of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Co-Chair of the Budgetary Committee.
After a stand-off on the budget resulting in a government shutdown in October, the Committee has until December 13 to re-negotiate some of the automatic sequestration cuts coming up next year. As it is, the Pentagon budget is due for about a 10% reduction, or $52 billion. Jill Stein of the Green Party’s Shadow Cabinet said that’s not nearly enough.
“We cannot both feed the hungry and feed our children, feed our elders, feed us and fill this absolutely bottomless pit of the military machine,” she said.
In its proposed “Peace-People-Planet” budget, the coalition outlines ten ways to slash military spending by 25 to 50%, including changing U.S. military policy (“stop policing the world”), ceasing to buy unnecessary weapons systems, and auditing wasteful practices at the Pentagon.
Taxpayer dollars should be used instead to fund social programs, job initiatives and actions to combat climate change, press conference speakers said.