This blog will begin with today's TandT, but then move on to more general ideas about how words are used in the media to keep us ignorant and/or to lie.
There isn't a whole lot to say about today's TandT unless you think it's really, really important to know that the Wine Expo is using genuine crystal glasses.
There is not a word of all that information we were all promised about fracking. There were the usual excellent columns by Alec Bruce and Judy Dallaire, (both are must reads), the usual inane piece of trivia by Rod Allen
The only other item worth even commmenting on is a very silly letter to the editor by a reader from Shediac. The writer appears to lack understanding of the meanings of common, English terms like 'economic justice' and 'end poverty'. Not knowing what the word movement means, he gives it meanings it doesn't have, He quotes Norbert Cunningham a good deal. Of course. Norbert's in his league.
He rants and spits venom. The protestors don't know what they're talkiing about. They're losers and hippies, punks and hobos. (Gee. If only they had some bank presidents and oil executives protesting.) They're long time activitists. (It apparently has not accured to the writer that Martin Luther King was a long time activist. So was Jesus.)
Well, I support Occupy Moncton. I confess to being a punk, hobo, loser and activist - though never a hippie. I do have some little qualitication, though, so I think I can give coherent answers (though I cannot match the writer for ranting and spitting venom. I am a retired professor with a doctorate in history, and 25 years of almost daily experience on radio, television and in print as a political commentator).
I know, for example, that the news media have not spread the movement around the world. I actully read news media from all over the world - unlike the writer who seems to have difficulty understanding even the TandT. Generally, news media have avoided the story.
The movement is to restore democracy. The writer does not appear to know what that means. Perhaps he thinks it is a dirty word.
As to earning the writer's respect, I would be ashamed if he respected me. He can respect Norbert though. Norbert has no shame.
But let's take a look at words - how they're used in news media - and how they're used to manipulate us.
If I say somebody is a terrorist, the first thing most people will think of is a moslem, probably with a beard. In reality, every nation I have ever heard of has practiced terrorism, often against its own people.. War, itself, is an act of terrorism. The word means the deliberate use of terror as a weapon.We create terror in order to control people.
The term came into general use in the French revolution when the revolutionaries deposed the king, then set up a democratic government that held control by massacring tens of thousands. It was called the Reign of Terror.
My French colonial ancestors took part in raids on the English colonies in New England and Upper New York. With their native allies, they raped, pillaged, burned any English settlementsthey found. The purpose was to terrorize the English so they would stay well away from New France. The terror also forced Britain to keep troops in its American colonies when it needed them to fight France.
The Sons of Liberty in the American revolution were gangs of thugs who raped, murdered, pillaged anybody believed to be loyal to the crown - as well as anybody who looked worth raping, murdering and pillaging. Remember the United Empire Loyalists who settled New Brunswick? Do you think they came here just for love of the king? Not so. They came because they were victims of those terrorists now praised in American history books as The Sons of Liberty.
Who were the worst terroristss of the twentieth century? Stalin, Hitler, Chiang Kai-Shek (our buddy) and Mao. Who are the worst terrorists of the last 60 years? Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Obama. In Cambodia, US aircraft bombed undefended cities, killing at least half a million innocent people. It was 9/11 day after day. Ever hear of the American airline who blew up a Cuban civil airliner? Of course, they deserved it - being Cuban and all.
Nobody knows how many innocent civilians were killed in Vietnam - anywhere from a million to over eight million. They're still dying today from agent orange. Bush killed anywhere from hundreds of thousands to over a million innocent people in Iraq. Several presidents were guilty of the slaughter of 200,000 Maya in Guatemala. That was all done to create terror.
In Vietnam, Lt William Calley and his men shot or beat to death some 800 villagers, from babies to the elderly. That sort of terrorism was quite common in Vietnam. But this one became known in the press; and the government was forced to charge Calley. He was found guilty of murdering 120, was then given a light sentence, then pardoned after one night in prison.
But when we say terrorist, few people think of American presidents, or of my ancestors, or of The Sons of Liberty, do they? No. They see a man with a burnoose - and a beard.
Actually, Moslem terrorists are bush league compared to us. Heard any reports about how many innocent Moslems we killed in Libya? Relax. You won't ever hear.
That's why the news media, referring to Moslem terrorists often simply call them terrorists and extremists. They never use either of those terms to refer Americans, Canadians, westerners, either present day or historical - or 'good' terrorists like the Christian Chiang Kai-Shek. Hitler's Germany that killed Jews was Christian. Ever hear of a Christian terrorist? The American who blew up an office building with a daycare centre in it in Oklahoma wasn't a terrorist in the press. No. He was a militial member. Sounds patriotic.
That selective use of the word "terrorist" is quite deliberate. It keeps us in a state of constant fear of Moslems (which justifies invasions to steal oil) - while at the same time keeping us ignorant of the damage we are inflicting on others.
Tomorrow, perhaps, it might be useful to look at the words conservative, liberal and culture.