Politicizing & Sensationalizing: Two Sides of the Coin that is National Media

The sensationalizing of certain murder cases by the media is nothing new in this day and age. Just google Casey Anthony and you will have yourself a plethora of case studies regarding this phenomena.

The recent Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman verdict and all the coverage surrounding it is proof that the sensationalizing of vicious tragedies also veers into even dirtier territories like politicization.

Politicizing and sensationalizing are merely two different sides of the same coin that is the national media. Policy Mic writer Zainab Akende is spot on when it comes to describing the journalistic travesty of modern times. The lack of attention received by the Jordan Davis murder makes one wonder why news networks are not discussing whether the phrase “driving while black (and listening to hip-hop music)” should/should not apply to this recent Jacksonville, FL murder.

With the political and media honchos placing the Jacksonville trial story on the back burner, the only trial on people’s minds will be that of George Zimmerman’s. My dearest apologies if this comes off as me belittling one tragedy to aggrandize another. That is certainly not my intention but it is just hard not to be perplexed by the agenda-driven hype selectively plaguing particular calamities.

Plus President Obama has already used Martin’s death as talking point during his 2012 relection campaign. It is not like he is running for a third term so why even mention Jordan Davis and publicly condemn his murder? The reason for this is because if Obama had a son, chances of him looking like Davis would be very slim (see video below).

Actually I do not see why I am whining about this because the Jim Morrison fanatic inside my head has been telling me “please son, give the complaints a rest, The Doors frontman spoke of this reality when he claimed he who controls the media controls the mind.”

‘Where there is blood on the streets, buy property’ – Baron de Rothschild

As clichéd as it is to start any piece with an oft quoted saying, I just could not resist it this time because it very much applies to the current state of our world. Plus what seems like real estate advice has instead become the law of the land. So here goes nothing.

Baron de Rothschild, member of the French-Jewish banking dynasty shrewdly advised, “Where there is blood on the streets, buy property.” Before I get accused of anti-Semitism, let me state that one of my best friends is a Long Island Jew and I was invited to his sister’s Bat-Mitzvah.

The past, present, and the most probable future indicate that this trend is alive and flourishing. Whether it is Iraq or Libya, so much blood has been spilled in the name of delivering democracy to the deserts and disposing of tyrannical despots. Let me further preface this by stating that by no means am I an apologist for these oppressive dictators and the terror(ism) which their regimes breed.

After this Al-Arabiya story of the Hezbollah’s alleged attack on the Syrian Rebel group   FSA (Free Syrian Army) broke, I knew I was witnessing a classic case of divide and conquer which only furthers the bloodshed Rothschild speaks of.

Rewind back to 2003 when George W. Bush directly invaded Iraq to topple tyrant Saddam Hussein and in hopes of uncovering Weapons of Mass Destruction. Even though at least the former goal was accomplished, the country is rife with more sectarian violence and a puppet Prime Minister who ‘cannot’ stand for the next elections. At least the then Commander and Chief invaded Iraq with American troops.

Now however, instead of directly taking military action in Libya or Syria, American foreign policy is going back to its roots by just providing insurgents with Uncle Sam’s finest weaponry. It is like they took a page from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Rule six in the third section, Attack by Stratagem, reads “Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting, he captures their cities without laying siege to them, he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.”

Recall the time when the Afghan Mujahideen got similar assistance against the Soviets from the US. We remember how that turned out right?

While Republicans and Democrats continue acting like rival detectives trying to blame each other for the botched up investigation that is Benghazi, Libyan rebels continue to receive the same support. Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) describes it best,

“Republicans smell a political opportunity over evidence that the Administration heavily edited initial intelligence community talking points about the attack to remove/soften anything that might reflect badly on the president or State Department. Dems in Congress have offered the even less convincing explanation for Benghazi, that somehow the attack occurred due to GOP sponsored cuts in the security budget at facilities overseas. With a one trillion dollar military budget, it is hard to take this seriously. It appears that the Administration scrubbed initial intelligence reports of references to extremist Islamist involvement in the attacks, preferring to craft a lie that the demonstrations were a spontaneous response to an anti-Islamic video that developed into a full-out attack on the US outpost.”

He also goes onto state that the extremist rebels who destroyed the US consulate in Benghazi were the ones propped up by the United States to oust Muammar Gaddafi. All this so that most NATO members can ensure the sustenance of their war-based economies during the Great Recession.

Mr. Rothschild, you still remain immortal till this day as is evident through this perpetual war on terror and the vested interests of so called democratization. If one has failed to grasp how any of this applies to the aforementioned aphorism, I’ll put it this way. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is just a study of history that just keeps repeating itself.

“Where there is blood on the streets, buy property”

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“Destroy a country, profit from rebuilding it”

Gentrification: The practice of displacing Indian slum dwellers AND below median income North Americans

Last week I was watching a news story about Mumbai-based social activist Medha Patkar’s stand against the Shivalik Builder’s Golibar slum demolition. A 13 year old cousin of mine who was watching along told me, “illegal slum demolition and displacement would never happen in a country like the United States where the government doesn’t disregard basic rights of its citizens by pandering to builders.”

Although my teenage cousin has yet to become world weary, I still felt the need to kindly refute his naive statement. Before explaining my reasons for disagreeing, I read a Fountain Ink piece by freelance journalist Javed Iqbal to find out what exactly transpired in Golibar, Mumbai. After reading the article, it is easy to draw parallels between the Golibar slum gentrification and a more tactful version of the practice I observed in the Washington D.C. area.

American developers (or builders as they are referred to in India) are just as guilty of leaning on state/local governments so their construction projects can see the light of day. In India the removal of poor residents obstacles for the builder’s ambitious structures is done by overtly dubious means. However, American developers resort to more sophisticated methods rather than forced expulsion.

If politics is the business of building bridges where there are no rivers, construction is the act of using politics to erect properties where people already maintain their humble abodes. The Indian builders’ methods range from public land grabbing to forced removal with the help of political figures. The ones displaced by the builders are the very helpless voting constituents of these politicians. On the other hand, destroying an occupied residential complex to coerce eviction would not fly well in a North American law and order landscape. Hard evidence of outright forgery and land grabbing supported by public officials would prompt instant legal action against the perpetrators. It has been established by the Indian citizenry that the construction-politics nexus exists to the detriment of many. In the western world, the construction-politics cabal is not referred to as such. It is diplomatically deemed as a public-private partnership of sorts.

Outside of D.C. in the town of Alexandria, the more politically correct brand of gentrification is underway through the Beauregard Redevelopment Plan. In May 2012 the predominantly Democratic Alexandria City council unanimously voted to let developers who own 5,000 apartments to demolish half of them in order rebuild more pricey living quarters. With the rebuilt and more expensive residences, the remaining 2,500 apartments’ rents will increase due to the rising values of the new surrounding apartments. As a result of those higher property values, the leftover tenants cannot afford the elevated rents. Hence, they are gently forced to move out.

Soaring rents are intended spillover effects from the presence of plush apartments, healthy climates for upscale businesses, and mass transit projects that many developers lobby for. A single new high end apartment complex, fancy designer boutique, or local train stop is enough to boost surrounding property values in a low-income area. When politicians appropriate funds towards infrastructure (mass transit, improved roads, and etc.), they indirectly displace the low-income and minority population.

It is troubling that the Democratic council members are of the party which supposedly caters to the working class and minorities. Most of the 2009-2012 term council members promised to work with developers who plan new projects in providing affordable housing for current residents. Refer to the issues section on the websites of certain Alexandria city officials for their false assurances. Here are the respective links for Frank Fannon (D), Rob Krupicka (D), and Del Pepper (D). Is it not ironic that these champions of racial/socioeconomic diversity approved a redevelopment plan that will discreetly homogenize Alexandria? It is almost like they support cleansing of this caliber but do not want to admit it.

There is a stigma that the political right plays dirty politics to thwart government-funded ‘growth initiatives’ for transportation projects. The hyper partisan political climate (on local, state, and federal levels) has only further galvanized liberal coalitions to support these growth campaigns solely due to conservative opposition. The mainstream media paints conservatives as the party detrimental to the middle and lower class. While that is somewhat true, at least the right wingers have explicitly disclosed their intentions towards socioeconomic minorities. However, the left leaning council in Alexandria has subtly revealed to the public how they feel about minorities. Nevertheless, I commend former Independent Councilwoman Alicia Hughes since she abstained for the final Alexandria redevelopment vote.

There are those who mistakenly claim that gentrification is not about the haves kicking out the have-nots. To them as regions transform and economies gradually require college educated workers, gentrification will continue to occur in areas that Gen-Y wants to live in. They are of the mindset that if a local is concerned about being displaced, he/she should push their kids towards education. If the kids are well-educated, the children can afford to live in their childhood locality once their area undergoes gentrification.

To assume that locals do not place emphasis on their children’s’ education is a myopic fallacy.  Protester Veronica Carzava asserted during the Beauregard Tenants association candlelight vigil, “we’re fighting for the right to have a house to live in, I don’t know where we would go and I have two children, and they go to school here, and I want they [are] educated here.” If that is not proof of a local’s desire to educate his kids, I do not know what it is.

Regardless of the party affiliation of builders or the policy makers they lobby to, affected Alexandrians took to the streets to protest much like the hard working people in Golibar, Mumbai. Does this mean that all property developers and policy makers are out to remove minorities and below median income populations? Absolutely not. I am sure there are many builders around the world who kept their promises of rehabilitating those who were in some way affected by their lofty projects. Now that is what I call real development.

Still think there is little or no similarity between the construction-politics cabal and the public-private partnerships? Sound off below!