Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sept. 18: Our private news media - from one who knows...

The name of Ray McGovern isn't well known these days. But for over thirty years he was a top analyst for the CIA, and he was a Washington insider at the highest levels. In the days of President Reagan, he was the man who briefed the president every day.

He knew all that was going on; and he came to realize how immoral and destructive it all was. So, after retirement, he founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. One of his conclusions is that American (and he could have included Canadian) news media are thoroughly corrupted. Like the Irving press, almost all - newspaper, radio, TV -are owned by a small number of very wealthy people who use them to spread propaganda and, when useful, hatred and hysteria.

(There are exceptions. The Irving press, for example, devotes only its foreign news to manipulate hatred and hysteria. And local news is usually limited to trivia and propaganda. For example, read one of its editorials - any one of them. The purpose of Section A is not to spread propaganda but the put New Brunswick into a stupor.)

There's a good video of McGovern explaining how this works. Just google International Clearing House. Go to the stories for September 16 and stop at "The Fourth Estate is Dead: We no longer have a free news media". It has, he says, been captured by corporations, the military/industrial complex, and the intelligence services. That's a reality that we're going to have to face some day.

And if we don't have free news media, we don't have democracy. Get used to it. The world that we, every Nov. 11, say our military died to uphold, is gone. In particular, it no longer exists in Canada or the US.

Most of our news media now are there to manipulate us for the profit of the very, very rich. The Irving press people, lacking the brains to manipulate us, simply keep us in a stupor.

A sample of the manipulation came from Bob Scheiffer, host of CBS "Face the Nation". In reference to ISIS beheadings, he said, "What kind of people kill the innocent in the hope of impressing their enemies? These kind of people, barbarians, psychopaths.."

I quite agree with him, and I wonder why our news people didn't didn't think of that when our side was deliberately massacring innocent civilians by the million in Vietnam, Guatemala, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan - and is still killing uncounted numbers of civilians all over the world.

Indeed, the whole history of our glorious empires - Britain, Spain, Italy, France and now the US - is a history of murdering innocent people all over the world. But I've never seen a history book that said Queen Victoria was a psychopath or a barbarian.  Even in Canada, this branch office of empire, I've never seen any such name-calling of, for example, John A. Macdonald, who deliberately allowed mass starvation of native peoples in western Canada.

In fact, by World War Two, the mass murder of civilians by terror bombings had become standard practice on both sides. That's why the US carried out the fire-bombing of Tokyo that killed a hundred thousand - and then the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They were targets made up largely of civilians. That's why they were chosen - because they were civilian targets.

Indiscriminate terror bombing of civilians by air is something that began in colonial wars even before World War 1. The Germans used it against Spain before World War 2. (Under images in google, look under Guernica). By the end of the war, it was standard practice by the psychopaths on both sides.

We'll be getting the full treatment on this in our press by tomorrow. Australia has charged some Muslims with planning to behead people in the streets of Australian cities. And that's not nice. Civilized people like Christians and Jews bomb them in the streets of Damascus and Palestine.

Probably the longest news story on A1 of the Sept. 16 TandT is "Leaders must ask tough questions: expert"
Wow! who woulda thunk it? This is the intro to a story about a pep talk given to some 2,000 business people, politicians, students. Business people just love these pep talks, and there's good money in giving them.  What they dish out is something like those awful sermonettes we get on the Faith Page, lots of what should be obvious advice presented as if it were the latest insight from the mount.

Business people like them because the level of advice is always in a class with the standard advice for a child - don't pick your nose in public. And we're also given lots of important information in the story like - he spoke sitting on a stool beside a table. And sure enough, inside is a picture of hims sitting on a stool beside a table. What a guy!

The morning session was similar stuff delivered by an Olympic gold medalist. She isn't listed as an expert on the subject but, hey, she has two Olympic gold medals. In attendance for her were over 6,200 school students.

Whoa! That must mean that almost all the high school students in the city missed half a day of class for ----what? A pep talk from somebody with two gold medals?

These leadership talks can make good money for the speakers. But I would certainly not waste half a day of education to make students sit through one.
The editorial, again and as almost always, is on a very local topic. I's the only daily I've ever seen that does that. I think what that tells us is that editors don't know anything else but local matters.

The best part of the op ed page is a letter to the editor "Test scores inadequate way to assess teachers' pay."
It's a response to a "study" by the Fraser Institute (a front for big business), which claims that paying extra to teachers whose students do well on test scores would be an effective way of improving education.

The writer points to a study on it, showing that such extra payments have no effect at all on a student's performance. Again, big business is sticking its nose into the education of our children - and doesn't know what it's talking about. Test scores are profoundly affected by family income levels, by parental attitudes, by social pressures. Paying teachers more or less will not have the slightest effect on that.

Big business is wild for huge bonuses, so they naturally see this as a device to help them commercialize education. The reality is that it's not at all clear  that it works for business, either. The great bailouts of major business were all of companies, especially banks and auto builders, that were close to ruin as a result of decisions by their high-priced leaders. Their is no reason to believe that paying a CEO millions will make him or her a better CEO.

And their is no reason whatever to believe that a man who inherits an oil company has any special gifts to operate any social institution like a school or a  health system. Or even an oil company.

NewsToday should be called NoNewsToday. It has almost nothing on a world that is teetering on the edge of world war. And so far, there has been no mention of the American government spending a trillion dollars over budget last year. Nor does it answer the question of how the US will every repay that.

Answer: It won't.
For December, a big story is on P.A2. Industry minister welcomes Burger King. It includes a long statement from the minister, Jim Moore, who specializes in making long statements that say nothing.

On A6. we learn that Steven Williams, a combat sport promoter is excited that we will soon see commercial combat sport in Moncton again. And it will be safer with government regulations controlling it. Right.

I had an uncle who was a coach for boxing in the Olympics, and also coached both amateurs and pros. So I knew a lot of boxers. But I can't think of one who did not suffer permanent damage from boxing. Physically damaging an opponent is what boxing is about, with much of the damage being permanent. And boxing is regulated by the government.

Combat sport is even more damaging. (That's what attracts spectators who are too intellectually challenged to follow boxing.) And that's why there are many who oppose it. The news article makes not a single mention of any of this. Reporters - you're supposed to ask questions or, at a minimum, to think.

The only item worth reading in Section A is Alec Bruce's very impartial column on fracking.

Rod Allen trivializes Scottish separation  with a column of juvenile humour.

Page 1 of NewsToday has a story of President Poroshenko visiting Canada's Parliament. It reads as though the reporter wrote it while on his knees, and slobbering over the president's shoes. Harper chimes in that Canada will fight at Ukraine's side if it takes fifty years.  (But dinna fash yoursel' as my Scottish mother used to say. The war would end for us just as soon as Harper wins the next election with the massive support of the Ukrainian-Canadian bloc. In any case, there is no possiblity of it lasting fifty years in a nuclear world.)

On B5 "NDP's Mulcair refuses to back 'non-combat' deployment in Iraq". But Justin Trudeau does back it because Iraq has hundreds of thousands of displaced people whom Canada has a responsibility to protect.

Uh - Justin - Iraq had millions of displaced people when the US invaded. How come you weren't calling for Canada to protect those people then?

For the illiterate set, B7 has a page of colour photos of people holding up oversized cheques for various causes.

And that's about it.
Nothing in those two papers would help anyone to understand anything. They are classic examples of Irving's modus operandi - to keep the people of New Brunswick as ignorant and as trivial as possible. So let's do a quickie on what's happening in the world.

For the last several centuries (perhaps forever), wars have been fought to make the super-rich richer. They sucker us into it by telling us how evil the other side is   In the last century and more, news media have been the favourite device for manipulating our thinking.

The usual purpose of the war is to grab control of  a country and it's economy - or to knock off a commercial competitor.

The usual device to get control of a country is to build an empire. with the defeated being ruled either directly or indirectly by the conqueror. And sometimes it's by making a country an "ally" as in the case of the European union. West European countries follow US orders because they have no choice. Britain began to realize back in the 1870s that it had to court US favours because standing along was becoming impossible for it. And that came at a price. The price today is that Britain has be on board for a war with IS and another with Russia - as it was with Iraq and Afghanistan.

The wars of empire have been extraordinarily brutal - killing, torturing, starving, impoverishing more millions than have ever been counted. The objectives were resources, cheap labour, slaves. In the latter, the trade of African slaves, estimates of those who died just in transit are as high as 60,000,000. George Washington was the biggest slave-owner in the American colonies. That's why there were two groups who were not equal in the land of the free and the home of the brave - African slaves, and women of any colour.

Typically, the average Englishman or average citizen of any imperial power got little or no benefit from the empire. The profits went to the already rich. The world's biggest empire today, by far, is the US where the rich are daily getting richer, and the average American is suffering severe economic hardship - which our papers never report. Well, why should they? They don't much report it there, either.

Empires don't go to war to help anybody except themselves. There are important people in the US who want a war with Russia. And they want Ukraine for strategic reasons - to attack Russia. That's why they overthrew the legally elected government of Ukraine. They want Russia because they want to end Russian commercial competition. (This has nothing to do with the size of that competition. They war against much smaller countries for the same reason.)

They want Iran for two reasons. They want control of its oil (That's why they, for  years, imposed a dictator on Iran). They also want to control Iran's trade because much of it is with Russia. The talk about Iran and nuclear weapons is just a cover.

They want to destroy Assad and the Syrian nation for the same reasons.

They foam at the mouth over Cuba for reasons that have nothing to do with freedom. In fact, Castro got rid of an American-imposed dictator. Then, when the US cut trade ties with Cuba, Castro had to find a market. So he found it - with Russia.

And Iraq? We have never had a coherent statement of what the Iraq war was about in the first place. Certainly, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. What seems clear is that the US wants Iraq to be split up into smaller and weaker states (just as it wants for Syria). But it's approach is puzzling. It cannot win a war simply by bombing.  They seem to be relying on Arab boots on the ground - but there is no great enthusiasm for this in the Arab world. As well, his major recruits so far for the "coalition" are Saudi Arabia and the emirates, all three of whom have been the major contributors to ISIS.

What the US seems to want in that whole region is national breakup to create small states of no power, and all of them dominated by American big business (with whatever Brits, Canadians, French, etc. can beg for a piece of the action.)

The big question is - why is ISIS using public beheadings of American and British subjects? Is Bill Scheiffer right? Are they psychopaths? Maybe so. But if they are, the western world, too, is full of pyschopathic politicians and big business people. And there are certainly lots of people on both sides who are evil.

But that doesn't mean they're stupid. I suspect ISIS is making a big show of public beheadings precisely to get the reaction it is getting. And I suspect it has some connection with that massive debt the US has.



  1. Whew, only got through half of that this time! Just have to add that I think "Manufacturing Consent" is a better link at youtube for analyzing the media. Its not nearly as cut and dried as this makes it out to be. In canada most media is owned by large corporations with lots of shareholders, they are not places like New Brunswick, which really is an anomaly in that regard.

    But its worth pointing out that Canada has the most centralized media in the industrial world, much moreso than the US, where canadians and others think that americans get most of their media from the same sources WE get american media from, and thats not really the case at all. There is FAR more good media in the United States than in Canada.

    And for the teachers pay, this has NOTHING to do with student scores or students at all. There is simply no way to analyze that data to come to their conclusions. Its design is to overcome the biggest problem in bureaucratized education-which is teachers not playing ball with 'teaching for tests'. Granted, it is far more rare than it used to be, but the industry in general has been against this sort of restricted teaching, so the idea is to try 'buying them off'.

  2. This is a well documented and written discussion concerning the state of media in Canada, the US and elsewhere.
    We are not in control. We have handed our democracy over to the corporate elite.
    Efforts to take it back will be squashed, crushed and leaders will be humiliated as the elite have learned their lessons too many times to fail now.
    We have stability, but at what cost and for what purpose?