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“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone

22. NOW THEY ARE GOING TO KILL ELSIE THE COW

When America’s dairymen poured milk down the sewer drains in mid-March of 1967 to make a point about milk prices, the media were there and American public opinion was outraged.

Now the federal government has quietly conceived and quickly implemented an even more bizarre approach to the milk price issue but hardly anyone knows about it.

The government is going to pay farmers to kill their cows. Even as you are reading this, nearly one million dairy cows, 340,000 heifers, and 250,000 calves are being branded for slaughter. Some already may have been slaughtered.

The program, authorized by Congress last year and euphemistically titled the Food Security Act of 1985, is officially called the Dairy Herd Termination Program; generally it is known as the federal whole herd buy-out plan; farmers simply refer to it as “The Kill Program.”

In brief, the plan aims to drastically reduce surplus milk and stabilize dairy prices by getting producers out of the dairy business. Farmers participating in the program will be expected to send their cows to slaughter and then promise to stay out of the business for at least five years. The program is expected to cost nearly $2 billion over the next five years with most of it paid for by taxpayers.

Not only are they going to kill Elsie the Cow, but they are going to brand her on the face in advance to make certain she does not escape the butchers.

To prevent cheating in the program, the Department of Agriculture requires that dairy cows be branded on the face with a hot iron before being shipped to slaughter. Bradley Miller of the Humane Farming Association, in San Rafael, California, said face branding is a brutal and senseless act to perform on cows. Miller said his group is not opposed to branding cows on the rump but strongly objects to branding the cow’s head because it is excruciatingly painful and unnecessarily cruel. Regulations stipulate that cows must be branded on the face with a three-inch “X” so that everyone knows they are to be killed. “There are 62 different nerve endings in the face and this would be extremely traumatic for the animal,” Miller said.

The humanness of the program aside, there is serious doubt that it will solve the milk surplus problem. John Seibert, an economist with the California Cooperative Creamery in Petaluma, warned that the program may backfire. He predicted that we “can expect surpluses of milk two years from now in spite of the buy-out.”

The proposed slaughter of more than a million of America’s dairy cows in a world where millions of children are starving surely deserves media scrutiny and public awareness.

 SOURCES:

AG ALERT, 2/26/86, “Here are ‘nuts and bolts’ of whole-herd buy-out plan,” p 18; SANTA ROSA (CA) PRESS DEMOCRAT, 3/10/86, “Furor over face brands,” p 2B, and 3/29/86, “U.S. buying 7% of area dairy herds,” p 1A, both by Tim Tesconi.

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