Friday, February 6, 2015

Feb. 6: meanwhile...

I'm happy to say the Irving press has enough ignorance and silliness in it today so that I should have enough for a column about it tomorrow. Meanwhile, let's cover a few more general points.

All the news media lately have been full of horror and anger at ISIL's killing of a Jordanian pilot by burning him alive.

There's certainly nothing commendable about burning people alive. But the whole world has been doing it for close to a century. It began with flamethrowers and phosphorous shells, and was used chiefly against enemy soldiers at first. By World War 2, leaders on all sides had become more relaxed about it. They, all of them, used burning alive without discrimination, even targeting civilians because it added terror as a weapon of war. (No. Muslims did not invent terrorism.) The most successful example of it was the fire-bombing of Tokyo by the US air force which killed some 100,000 people - burned alive - women, children, babies. And it was no accident that the dead were mostly civilians. Civilian areas were deliberately chosen for the bombing. The same would later happen to Laos, Cambodia - which most of our news media never mentioned.

At Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both cities largely civilian and with no military targets, those close to the blasts were mercifully vaporized.  But those further away were burned alive, many, many thousands of them.

Canadians would never do that? Well, they did it to German cities,  using conventional bombs to destroy water supply first so fires couldn't be fought, then switching to firebombs The Germans used fire. The Japanese did. Everybody did.

The horror of it never hit the North American public until the Vietnam war when the US dropped many, many tons of napalm. And you can't really aim napalm. It just kills whoever is there - usually civilians. But then a photographer got a picture of a young girl and it, somehow, got published in the US. She was a very young girl, her clothes burned off her, and her whole body and face horribly burned. She was screaming in pain and terror.

God bless America.

The military had to react, so it flew her to the US for years of plastic surgery and recovery. Well, that was nice for her. But those bombs also killed  or horribly mutliated- nobody knows how many other civilians were killed by fire in Vietnam. But they didn't get free trips to the US or anywhere else for treatment

Napalm and phosphorous were also used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, the US drones that terrify much of Africa and Asia fire rockets designed to set fire to those out of range of the explosion. Again, we occasionally get numbers of the dead - not often since our news media don't seem to care. But they include the innocent and children.  Israel has used firebombs. That's what war is about.  I could wish that those pussycats who write our weekly Faith page could develop the wits and the courage to talk about that. It's a long way from "Thou shalt not kill".

Those people in ISIL are terribly cruel. But you know what's really wrong with them?

They're just like us.

While I'm on the subject of the clergy who write those awful sermonettes for the Irving papers, why have they not ever written about the US-led slaughter of Guatemalans in the 1970s? Google lists clergy who were killed in that slaughter. The lists (about half of them killed in direct murder) take up six pages. Can you imagine the howl if they had been killed by Muslims? But, hey, it's okay. It was done by American and Israeli and Guatemalan soldiers, all standing up for the real God.

Curiously, google has very little to say about that horrible period. And for CBC, I found only a brief reference - to a report that the rebels were marxists. Right. The mining companies were stealing their land, beating them, killing them, submitting then to lives of poverty, destroying their waters and lands - but it was all their fault because they were marxists. (Actually, they weren't. They were desperate people trying to fight back against the very rich.)
I'm delighted to see our Foreign Secretary Baird leaving politics. It was only recently he made the asinine statement that Cuba can now become a happy and prosperous state if it copies American capitalism and American values.

Capitalism, particularly the uncontrolled sort we have now, does not create prosperity. Cuba, despite all the penalties placed on it by the US, actually has less malnutrition than the US does. (Cuba is on about the Canadian level.) You want to see real malnutition? Check out countries controlled by American capitalism. Guatemala has malnutrition at over 50 times the rate of Canada and Cuba. Haiti has 100 times the rate.

What uncontrolled capitalism produces is poverty, hunger, misery. That's why it's the height of idiocy to say, as the Liberals and Conservatives do, that we have to pamper the rich and nail the poor to get back to prosperity. It doesn't work. It has never worked. It will never work.

As to American values, who could possibly want them?

When Cuba was  under the control of American capitalism and its dictators and thugs and its mafia, it was a land to terror and wretched poverty. The mafia controlled prostitution, which was about the only work a Cuban woman (or child) could get. I don't think Cuba really interested in American capitalism and values.

Baird was playing his usual role as loud-mouthed and ignorant thug.
There a superb news item at www.informationclearinghouse:info/article-40886.htm
It comes partly from a source I wouldn't normally take  seriously - RussiaTimes. Like FreeEurope or The Muslim Issue,.RT is a propaganda sheet. But this story is also backed by very, very reliable sources - like reporter Carl Bernstein - and the US Senate. Funny it never made the Irving Press.

A leading German newspaper editor, suffering a terminal illness, wrote a book and gave interviews on a topic that has bothered him for some years. He needed to confess. The book and the interview are about how the CIA not only influences news media, but actually writes copy for it and, sometimes, even holds senior management positions in news media. That is true of Time magazine, for example. And, as I glance at copies of MacLean's, it could be true of it, too. It has gone down dreadfully.

According to this editor, he accepted CIA-prepared "news stories", and virtually all western news media do. And what the CIA prepares is aimed at creating fear, hatred, and killing.

Carl Bernstein confirmed that from his own experience,. He had access to Senate Intelligence Committee hearings which confirmed it further,

I guess I already knew that. After all, I spent much of thirty years in broadcasting and writing columns. I think I can tell manipulative and lying news when I see it. And I certainly have seen it in Canadian Press, Associated Press, and all the other suppliers to the Irving press.

As for the Irving reporters, all that most of them write is trivia. But when they, rarely, write about something seriously, it seems obvious they've soaked up the manipulation from the news they read.

The German editor's book is Bought Journalists. (It has not been mentioned in the European press.)

For readers of Google News, there was an item in there until just minutes ago that I suspect was planted.
Get this. Three professors I have never heard of from universities I have never heard of in Australia and New Zealand decided to analyze attitudes to fracking.

Okay. So they went to the US.

Well, that could make sense. After all, the US has a much bigger population. But - they sampled just 120 people. Hell, they could have found that at any sheep station at home.

The 120 people were chosen at random. Oh? Did they travel around the US, stopping people on the street? That must have been expensive. Did they phone them or send email? They could have stayed home and done that. Gee. I wondered who paid for the trip to the US?

120 people chosen at random means nothing in a country the size of the US.

So they produce their report. it shows ---well ----

What I first noticed about the headline was it said the anti-fracking people really didn't know much about the issue, but were reacting to people they didn't like who did want fracking. So I read the story. The real story was that both sides acted that way. So why was the headline worded to suggest it was only anti-frackers in the wrong?

The story does not mention peer review - the checking of an article by experts in the field. Did it happen?
Are the three professors expert in the field? The article never says.They certainly aren't experts in statistics. I can't imagine a real statistician would ever conduct a study on a subject that is an issue all over the world, and do it on such a small group, without even selection criteria, in just one country. This whole story is obviously propaganda.

Can university professors be bought just like journalists?

Make me an offer.

1 comment:

  1. I too happened across that same RT article a few days ago regarding the CIA and journalism being in bed together, and I agree with your assessment on RT's reliability.
    Look here at a 1975 senate hearing - Frank Church hearing? for CIA involvement in providing propaganda to American news outlets:

    And, as far as John Blowhard Baird goes, after proving his true despicable worth to higher level sociopaths, it would appear he may be going off to work for the NWO in a full time capacity. I haven't had time to confirm this yet.
    Look here:
    What do you think?