FREE SPEECH ZONE | Balanced reporting on Voter ID? Or the facts?

A lot of reporters believe it is their job to give “both sides” of every story. This is often done by quoting people who disagree with each other. While this may give the appearance of “balance,” it’s often irresponsible, as it gives the inaccurate impression that the two sides have equal credibility, which they often do not. Continue Reading

Social Security: the simple solution

The apparent consensus in the mainstream as to the status of the Social Security program is reflected in a comment in a Washington Post story last month.  Commenting on the almost-secret work of the “bipartisan deficit commission created by Obama” – called the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform – the Post claimed that “forging a bipartisan compromise [on Social S Continue Reading

A perfect storm for propoganda

There are five factors in the current information environment that together constitute a sort of perfect storm for the promotion of certain ideas that serve the interests of powerful people and institutions. That is, they make for a perfect storm for the rise of propaganda. They are:

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Unemployment: “Not all areas have suffered equally”

A study was released on June 8th by the Economic Policy Institute that looked at “the variation in unemployment across the 50 largest metropolitan areas” in the U.S. Entitled “Uneven Pain: Unemployment by Metropolitan Area and Race,” the report is the most recent study that calls into question the myth of “Minnesota Nice.”

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Israel’s nuclear weapons not so secret

On September 25th “President Barack Obama and the leaders of France and Britain accused [Iran] of clandestinely building an underground plant to make nuclear fuel that could be used to build an atomic bomb.” The President said that “Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow” and, as the media reported, he and the other leaders “demanded that Iran open all nuclear sites for inspections Continue Reading

Nygaard Notes

Nygaard Notes is concerned with a broad range of issues and ideas, using humor and plain language to reach out to anyone who believes in the values of solidarity, justice, compassion, and democracy.

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Bailouts and the role of radicals

by Jeff Nygaard, September 8, 2009 • There are so many reasons for hope at the moment that I haven’t been sure how many to include in this “Hope Series” that began in the last edition of the Notes. This week I talk about bailouts, and about the opportunities presented by crisis. Continue Reading

Bridge collapses in the media

How did the media do in reporting on the 35W bridge collapse? One week out, it looks like a mixed bag. I was encouraged to see that it didn’t take the media long to begin focusing on the issue of the context within which this disaster occurred. “Crumbling Infrastructure Leaves a Nation Terrorized,” said the St. Petersburg Times. Continue Reading

Off the Front Page: Haditha, Azizi, and more to come

Jeff Nygaard

(June 1, 2006) First of all, an item that had been “off the front page” is now being seen ON the front page. That item is the killing of innocent civilians—a.k.a. “murder”—by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In truth, most of the killings of innocent civilians remain off the front pages. But, still, many readers of the newspapers may now have heard of the Iraqi town of Haditha, where U.S. Marines allegedly went on a rampage last November 19 and murdered perhaps two dozen innocent people.

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Off the Front Page: Welfare reform and poverty

Jeff Nygaard

(May 19, 2006) On page 19 of the May 17 New York Times (All The News That’s Fit To Print!) there was a story headlined “For the Neediest of the Needy, Welfare Reforms Still Fall Short, Study Says.” The study comes from the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, and is entitled “Findings from the Milwaukee TANF Applicant Study.” (TANF stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which is what most people call “welfare.”)

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