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“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.
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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
“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
“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 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
“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.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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
“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
“[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
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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.)
“[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
“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
“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.

8. A CONSTITUTI0NAL CONVENTION — HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

During the four months the Federal Convention met in the summer of 1787 deliberating on the greatest news story in American history, not one word was reported in the 75 American newspapers. Americans in the new republic faced huge war debts, worthless paper money, an immense trade balance, and a crumbling security with Americans held hostage in the Mediterranean area by Algerian pirates. Politicians faced repercussions from Shaw’s rebellion against land foreclosures in Massachusetts and realized a need for stronger government.

There are correlations between those events and circumstances today. Today, as in 1787, the nation’s press is remiss in reporting on a controversial effort to redefine our nation’s Constitution: there is a dedicated effort underway to call a constitutional convention to amend the nation’s Constitution. The Constitution requires two-thirds (34) of the states to call for such a convention before the country may hold one to consider amending the Constitution.

As of now, 32 states have called for such a convention — we are just two states away from holding a constitutional convention.

Some of those seeking the convention want to add “urgently needed … popular” constitutional changes, like balancing the federal budget, requiring voluntary prayer in public schools, and restricting abortions. Others want to add women’s rights to the Constitution, make Senate and House terms longer, abolish the Electoral College in selecting a president, limit terms for Supreme Court justices, and restrict the rights of the accused. While some changes may be worthy, we already have proven ways to get them into the Constitution.

Opponents to the convention are concerned since there are no legal bounds as to what such a convention could do. Indeed, many have been opposed to an open-ended call for such a convention because it could become a runaway event in which every crackpot suggestion for constitutional change would be permitted.

Countering the view that a constitutional convention potentially threatens the Bill of Rights, state’s rights, and Congress itself, is the recommendation that the convention could be limited to a specific issues, such as the proposed requirement for a balanced budget. But there is no guarantee that such a limitation would stand up under the pressures of a convention; there probably would be constant calls for broadening the discussion.

In the past, the mere threat of a constitutional convention has been impetus enough to get a recalcitrant Congress to act. The 17th Amendment, providing for direct election of Senators, was proposed by Congress after 30 states petitioned for a convention to make the change. In the early 1970s, the threat of a petition drive by some governors persuaded Congress to enact revenue sharing legislation.

The National Taxpayers Union, the conservative lobby behind the current push for a constitutional convention, acknowledges that the drive is essentially part of a strategy to force Congress to draft its own budget amendment. Whether that happens or not, at the very least the American people should be aware that we are just two states away from a constitutional convention that could significantly change the political system we have had for the past 200 years.

SOURCES:

THE ECONOMIST, 5/21/88, “The Constitution: Lid on to keep the worms out,” pp 28-29; USA TODAY, 3/3/89, “DEBATE: We shouldn’t tinker with Constitution,” p 8A.

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