Saturday, December 10, 2016

December 10: Fake News

We have to face it. Trump and his vicious band of billionaires are not the result of a freak election. This has been coming for a long time. This is a government that could not care less about the needs of the American people. It is a government of   pure self-interest and greed.

And there is no opposition to it.  The Democrats are essentially the same party with the same 'values'. There is no movement of any significance outside the old parties. At most we  have those who voted for Trump - all those people who voted for slogans that had no meaning. Make American great again? What does that mean? Destroy even more democracies? Plunder more countries for the American wealthy? Kill more people?

All that exists is greed and self-interest. There never was a whole lot of anything else. Now there is nothing else at all. Nor is it going to change. The North American news media are not going to suddenly become honest. The American government is not going to focus on the needs of the American people. Nor does it matter. The most the American people will wake up to is what we saw in the election, a people who are angry but who have no sense of what should be done about - and who accept slogans as if they meant something.

This is not the collapse of a party. This is the collapse of a nation.
So what can the rest of us do?

Some are already doing it. They are shifting their ties away from the U.S. and toward other powers. Others are looking to regional alliances.
And what will Canada do? I recognize the mostrous task of shifting our focus away from the U.S. But I also recognize the disaster in remaining attached to it. We've just gone through a similar switch.

In 1900, Canada was very much the servant of Britain. It was understood that we fought Britain's wars, that we took Britain's side in international matters.  That was underlined with the Boer War. It ended abruptly in 1945. We became the servants of the U.S. because that's where the power was. Britain was a back number.

And that is the kind of decision we have to take now. Will it be difficult? Oh. yes. Is there a choice? Sort of. We shall seek out new alliances - or we shall go down with the U.S.

It's not just Trump. The social and moral decline of the U.S. was happening before him. He has just made it obvious.
Here's a news story whose headline says one thing while the story suggests something quite different.

I would not be surprised if Russia interfered in the election. - but that it would  be enough to decide the outcome sounds more than a stretch. (And Americans are scarcely virgins when it comes to interfering with elections.) In any case, the evidence in this report is, to say the least, pretty thin. This whole announcement looks very much like what has come to be called false news - and it now accounts  for much of the news we get.
The rich get richer by making the poor poorer. Of course. it's an old story. The wealth of the western world was - and is - built on impoverishing, looting and poisoning Africa, Latin America and, until recently, much of Asia. Here's a sample from Africa.
Our news media were mostly hot on Castro's death as a sign of how much Cuban hated him. That's why they focussed so much on the Cubans of Florida - rarely mentioning that they were the supporters of the brutal Batista, the dictator supported by the U.S. (In fact, the existence of Batista was rarely mentioned at all.)

Here'a more accurate account of how Cubans feel about Castro.
In this age of false news, it seems increasingly clear that the CIA statement that Russia interfered in the U.S. election is a classic piece of false news. This feeling was also clear in Guardian statement - though you had to read all of that one to get the story.( The irving press didn't even have the story. I guess it's cheaper that way.)
Gee, our news media buying their news from organizations funded by Syrian rebels (ISIS, etc.) Actually, it's been going on for a long time. One of those organizations is White Helmets,  the group that put out a staged photo of a Syrian child after a bombing attack in Alleppo. The photo was a sensation in the world press - and a fake. They also print stories regularly from 'The Syrian Human Rights Observatory', a rebel organization founded by a haberdasher in England. (White Helmets. essentially a propaganda group, easily makes its way through the western news media. It's a world of fake news.
In a world of violence, greed,  cruelty, the Christian churches have preferred to babble about anything by violence, greed and cruelty. If you are, for example, a wealthy person who makes his money out of cheap labour, you can relax at the Irving Chapel, knowing you wil hear nothing offense.
For a sample of the blah! of our churches, read the Faith Page of the irving press any Saturday.

But there are signs of life.
This is something we should all have known for some time. But I guess a reminder is always useful.
Much of the news is taken up with the terrible things Trump is likely to do. I'm sure he is. But that's not the whole news. There's much we aren't getting.
For example, we aren't told that most of the news we get from Syria comes from jihadist sources. The Jihadists realize quite well that western reporters are on their side. So they will publicize fake photos of a bombed out child. They will believe all stories about Russian cruelties. (I don't know when I've seen so many stories about the horrors of bombing civilians. Where were all those reporters when the U.S. bombing killed almost one-third of the population of North Korea? Where was it at the horror of the bombing of Fallujah by the the U.S?
Why do reporters not seem to be going to the scenes of drone attacks?

Much of our news in the 'free' world comes with a heavy bias. That shows in who's version     they prefer to print, what incidents they prefer to ignore, what stories they buy from fake news agencies  (like Syrian Observatory of human rights),  and it's polished from there in the loaded language of media writers.
Most of the news we get is either from dubious sources, or presented in a prejudicial way, or outright lies - pure invention. That's true of even the most distinguished of the private media - like New York Times.

News analysis is even worse. (The irving press doesn't have it -with a few exceptions. But, for the most part,  the 'analysis' is propaganda or bedtime stories.) The news media are also full of 'analysts' who simply rant and peddle hatred. There's an audience for that.

And the emphasis on Trump is wild. While an important one, he is not the only important leader in the world. And, in fact, we are getting almost nothing on the rest of the world. I listened to one pro-Trump analysit that Trump will save the world by seeking peace with Russia.

Well, that would be nice. But think hard. Russia, like the U.S., is dominated by capitalism.  I don't see where a merger between capitalists is going to do the rest of us any good.

We're living through a system that is a disaster in its itself. It will, of course, destroy itself. But if we wait that long, I don't think we'll get a second chance.
And, I'm late for the ballet. So I won't proofread this one. Enjoy the typos. They're free.

1 comment:

  1. Imo, Canada long ago needed to realign with countries whose outlook mirrored our own. We were so proud of accomplishments such as our once coveted health care system and being on the right side of history during the war years. Had democratic socialism and a closely monitored capitalistic growth been the order of the day, our strengths would have been in our standard of living and our reputation as peace-keepers. Instead we've become weapon manufacturers and a global threat to indigenous peoples through our corporate resource extraction policies. Drawing a firmer line down the 49th is now a formidable task.