Some Essays on the General Situation
other 'outside the box' readings
"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." - Henry David Thoreau
It's every man for himself, the elephant said as he danced among the chickens.
- Tommy Douglas
In this world, we are all butterflies and we need to be mindful of what can happen when we flap our wings
- David Suzuki
Democracy is comin...
Case study: Canada - a managed democracy
April 21 CBC Charlottetown, etc
In the box: - - Out of the box: - So the Canadian military is so overstretched they're sending reservists to the Great War for Freedom and Democracy in Afghanistan - and the hype continues. No talk from any of the rapidly growing number of people in Canada who oppose this whole operation and have from the started, nothing about how this increase in forces maybe indicates there's some problems happening there - but boy the CBC always has time for boosterism and hype - a nice little segment on how much the new reservists are really looking forward to being like the real soldiers, with their 'real kit' and all, better job than working at Wal mart boy, for sure. As always with these things lately, and there's no shortage of them, hardly a day goes by without something telling us all that we ought to support this whole invasion of Afghanistan because by golly look at our wonderful young men who are over there fighting for us!! (this one has been going on for several days in one place or another). I'm beginning to understand better that the people actually delivering the propaganda, the 'reporters' and 'journalists' doing the stories, the low level announcers amd hosts like dear Karen and Mitch on the Island Morning show - don't actually understand that they are the front line soldiers in the propaganda war that has been waged on Canadians for a long time now - they actually believe this stuff. That is to say, they are so indoctrinated themselves already that they don't question the 'real' media, the big boys from Ontario, or the government departments issuing the propoaganda. Others like Anna Maria on The Current I'm not entirely sure about - one suspects that with such high level people they are probably well aware of what they are doing, but you never know, they may just have such good jobs and be so well indoctrinated that they actually never question what they are doing. - except, except, stuff like this makes you wonder - once again the 'media' have had an opportunity to engage in pretty much their favorite overall activity - navel gazing - and they love it. Look at us!!! We're doing such a difficult job - and by golly, we're just doing sooooooo!!!!!!!!! great at it!!!!! - the Virginia Tech shootings, of course, all sparked by the tape the kid made and sent to NBC. I had to wipe out my ears when I heard the CBC news announcer telling us all, with just such a smug little pursed-lip voice, about how while other media outlets had decided to show some of the tape, they had by golly decided not to, in the interests both of protecting their viewers from disturbing images, and also to not encourage copycat incidents. I for one sure appreciate such wise leaders for keeping things from we poor sheep people who couldn't deal with them - but on the other hand, could you ask for much more obvious admissions that they do see themselves as gatekeepers? And they tell us about stories like this, it would be pretty obvious if they didn't - but then don't you have to ask what they are keeping from us, and NOT telling us about, since it doesn't get out anywhere else?
Well, some of us do, anyway.
They do a lot of good and useful and interesting stuff, too, of course, on the CBC, which also serves as smokescreen for the propaganda - but what it all is, what you need to see to understand it, is that it is all box stuff. Box things can be talked about freely - things that would expose the box or the rulers of the box are terra no goa.
June Callwood, 82: Tireless social advocate - and Kurt - geez two more gone. The end approaches.
If that sounds cryptic, think on this - the generations born before about 1960 or so may well be the last human generations - look around and see who is fighting the imposition of the new fascism, the New World Order, the new generation of automatons who seem to actually be unable to get their heads up in the air and understand the box that has been constructed around them, who seem to think that artificial tv-malls box is all there is, and not only that they love it!! - once we older guys are gone - the game will be over. There will be noone left to protest, to fight, to understand what is happening because our brains got developed before the full scale modern indoctrination took over all modern western communication. A theory I am working on, but I see little to contradict it.
April 12 CBC
In the box: - - Every day, every day, every day they are propagandizing - I try to ignore it and get on with something more important, but it is so frustrating to think about how many people are really believing this total full-bore propaganda. The whole Ypres thing last week was masterfully done, and then the interview after the 6 soldiers were most conveniently killed telling everyone that by golly we can't let them brave young lads die in vain!!, and now this morning the bodies arrive home and we have a 6 year old kid telling everyone how the brave lads died fighting for freedom, so he thought he'd just come and show some respect. Sure he did. The idea is good, of course, and if we were really in a situation where the lads were dying for something useful I'd be out at their funerals myself, but right now the talk we need to be having is what the hell Canadians are doing participating in a regime change operation that the Americans started in a country half way around the world that has NEVER done anything to Canada, or threatened anything - we're over there shooting innocent people and they're fighting back, as many Canadians would if someone landed in Ottawa and said they didn't like our government and were going to give us the government THEY thought we needed. The Canadian soldiers are dieing needlessly over there, and somebody ought to be answering some pretty hard questions about that. Which they will never be asked to do in the current Canadian media. This is not 'cut and run', this is 'what the hell are we doing there in the first place?'
Any sort of impartial, non-propaganda coverage, of course, would be something like on a regular basis, at least once a week on the major shows (this is a significant issue, after all, not the latest fuck-partner of some celebrity) get a couple of good spokespersons from the major points of view and let them talk, share their ideas with Canadians, let them explore the arguments of the other and see who was being honest and who was trying to dissemble in whatever ways - how else are we going to get informed from the media? They can't do this, of course, because with this as with all of the major issues they are propagandizing on, they cannot prevail in any open debate and they know it, therefore the only strategy is what they do - selective interviews with people who support their position, shameless boosterism like this kid parroting words his dad told him to say, and gatekeeping to make sure the people who could express things they do not want expressed get little to no time to do so.
Yesterday waiting for the nice tax lady to call me up to collect my money, it occurred to me that this whole tax business is about as clear a proof as you would need that we do NOT live in a 'democracy', but a feudal system painted with pretty colors to look like a democracy. The rulers do not ask us if we want to contribute some money to THEIR cause - they demand the tribute each and every year, from each and every person - sure they have some rules to let the very poorest of the poor not have to pay the direct tribute, although they certainly pay the indirect tribute every day (GST etc) - but nonetheless it is an enforced tribute from 'we the people' to 'they the rulers'. We do not get to sit down at meetings and talk about things and decide if we want to spend money sending soldiers to serve as some sort of tribute from our smalltime rulers to the American Empire or if we would rather spend that money on health care or education or whatever - we are told what the money is going to be spent on. Democracy? How so?? We see this today - Stockwell pays 'surprise' visit to Afghanistan (editorial honesty - my quotes there around 'surprise') - krist, half the government must have been over there one way or another by now, and they're flying all over the world all the time, using HUGE amounts of money - only point being, did you or I ever get handed a provisional budget of some sort that said "Plans for around the world trips by 'our' 'reps' - xx hundreds of millions of bucks" - and asked if we approved of all this 'business' travel? Sure, about the same as we got to 'approve' of sending 'our' soldiers off to war in the service of the American wannabe world empirists (and if you really believe these are 'your' soldiers, try joining a demonstration sometime against some government policy that particularly bothers you (you know, like creating the WTO and talking about how to make it 'better' (as much in secret as possible - remember Vancouver, Quebec, Toronto, etc) and handing 'our' sovereignty over to it, or something) and see which side the soldiers line up on. Think about it. You need to do this yourself, you sure as hell won't read about it in 'your' great, free Canadian democratic 'we're the best haha' media.) And me, I tend to listen with considerable disbelief to arguments saying these jaunts are for 'necessary government meetings' etc - I suspect no more than maybe 10% of them are actually necessary in some way, and the rest could be handled much easier, and much less expensively, through emails. But then, what would be the point of fighting hard to get elected and participate in the great Canadian 'democracy' farce if these perks weren't available to the good mandarins?
Don't sit there thinking 'Golly, but we have elections where they tell us what they plan, don't they, and we vote for what we think is best...?" - just a huge shell game. I hardly know where to start - if you lived in a democracy, again, wouldn't it be logical to sit around at a few meetings and talk about general priorities with your neighbors first, and draw up your own list of things that was important, and GIVE that list to your rep who, in any sort of honest representative democracy, would then go to Ottawa and have a meeting with the other reps where they talked about all their respective wish lists? Voting between lists of promises provided by the parties of tweedledee and tweedledum - promises you KNOW they are not going to keep most of the time, while enacting all sorts of stuff they never talked about at all during the 'campaign' - does not strike me, at least, as anything I would call 'democracy. Sure there'll be some disagreements if the people from the small local meetings got to Ottawa via some sort of actual local meetings system, but I would bet, if this were ever tried, there would be a whole lot more agreement on important things than disagreement (make a list of people you know who would disagree with not cutting corporate taxes anymore, or who would disagree with not funding the health care system as it needs to be funded, or who believe our poor MPs are underpaid and really need another raise - etc and etc) - and for those things where there was serious disagreement divided at least somewhere around the middle proportionally, there would be a widespread public debate for awhile, until the arguments of one side began to prevail, which they surely would as most of us are well-intentioned people who want to do the right things and most of us agree on those things when all the facts are in - if, for instance, the Canadian public had any real idea of the history of Afghanistan and what was happening currently, rather than the continual stream of lies and boosterism they currently get from the mainstream media, there would be a very strong majority demanding that we get out now, and demanding that the people who lied us into this situation (including most surely the media) be held responsible for what they have wrought in some way. Some serious way - this is a BIG mess, and deserves some equivalent punishment. Which is, of course, why those who rule will never allow us to get anywhere near a real democracy.
But I digress - the thing that started me remains, though - taxes levied by the rulers, with no real representation, with tax cops to chase down those who do not agree with what the taxes are being used for and refuse to pay since they have no say in how the money is spent, are proof positive, I would say, that we live in a feudal rather than a democratic society.
(But but - how do we fund our health care programs and other things we all agree we need, if not through taxes? That's a bit of a long story I will get into a bit later - but it involves replacing the capitalist cesspook we live in now, where the capitalists steal half of everything we produce in terms of wealth, and using that wealth for We the People stuff, rather than 50 million dollar mansions for the local dominant capitalists and their chief minions - think about it - get that capitalist bloodsucking parasite off your back and out of your brain, and pretty much anything is possible)
March 19 Toronto Star
In the box: - - Budget has votes in mind
Out of the box: - I'm just so out of touch with everything that is going on in 'my' country. This whole 'election' thing just escapes me, at least in terms of anything I actually understand about 'democracy'. To me, 'democracy' means that 'we the people' decide amongst ourselves what is going to happen in our country - and yet everyone else, or at least most people, seem to feel that 'democracy' means we get a vote to choose between a political party or three based on what they promise to do for us over the life of their 'mandate', and once the votes are in, the party with the most 'seats' get to rule us any way they please for that 'mandate' - even if that party only got 30 or 40% of the votes, and even if a whole lot of people did not (or could not) vote, meaning that in reality maybe 20-25% of the people of Canada actually voted for that party. And notwithstanding the fact that that party can - ummm - 'change their minds' later about whatever promises they made and not do some or all of those things at all, and do all sorts of stuff they never talked about during the 'election'.
I guess the strangest thing of all to me is that so few people seem to feel as I do, even though there are problems all over the place in Canada.
March 13 CBC
In the box: - - Spincycles
Out of the box: - Maybe they should start with a mirror - a commentary on the CBC 'Spincycles' series
Dear Ira Basen,
Feb 20 CBC Radio 'news'
Out of the box: Anals of particularly egregious propaganda (and no, that first word is not a misspelling - and actually it never stops, I've just been too depressed to keep shouting at them lately, but eventually the frustration becomes unbearable, and shouting alone in the dark forest is better than silence)
- they just never stop. Morning CBC news, Feb 20/07, every hour on the hour, with variations, all across Canada, this is what's available for the coffee break talk for the 5% or whatever of progressive or lefty or whatever Cdns who listen to CBC -
** story from Washington about the ongoing Libby trial, about which I won't even start - but the CBC spin is telling us, as if this is something they just discovered, that those darn people in the White House were apparently actually plotting to use the media to spin their war in Iraq!!! My god, says grandma - the sneaky buggers! Using our innocent, wonderful media people for such a dastardly thing!! (that is certainly the underlying message from the 'reporter' here). Which does not quite directly involve the Canadian media, but they of course, rely on trustworthy and honest BB media to the south - the venerable and honorable (I keep meaning to devise some new font that indicates dripping sarcasm) Washington Post and NY Times - but there is a definite message here, that if the media happens to be caught out in some lie (such as promoting the idea that Saddam had WMD, which is the basis of the Libby trial) - then, golly darn, it wasn't really their fault, it was some darn spin people tricking those innocent, honorable people. I can't go much further with this without barfing, but the Enright Sunday Morning show is doing a series on spin that is mainly notable for being spin itself of the same variety (we oh-so-well-intentioned media people getting fooled by them darn old spin people!), about which I am working on a letter that I may or may not decide to send (I am I suppose getting close to the point of accepting that it really is pointless to do this - not close to giving up at all, but close to accepting that if 'they' have as firm a grip on the minds of 'the people' as they appear to, then my shoutings in the wilderness aren't going to change anything, and I might as well get on to something else...).
** And the next story on the same newscasts - about how some people (I can't recall exactly who now, but obviously 'important' enough to get CBC coverage - again missing the font, but meaning that the CBC and their controllers want this story out there, and the conveyed message....) are pushing to have the 'restrictions' on retirement from working removed, so people can be happy in their freedom to work right up until the day they die!! - and all in a chirpy, positive voice, you bet - and one example of some guy 81 years old working parttime in Tim Horton's - and by golly, he uses the 'extra money' from his 'part time work' to go to Europe and Mexico (although they didn't actually specify how he manages that while still working - but surely just a minor detail only malcontents would pick up on). But ain't that gonna have the people lining up at Timmy's now, if they can afford that kind of lifestyle on a part time job there! haha, of course he has his own savings - but there was not a word in this story about the reality behind all this 'removing the restrictions to work' stuff - that our neocon gov is removing the financial support of seniors so if they are NOT independently well-off, they'll be forced into this kind of thing whether they like it or not. So Flaherty or whoever can keep reducing taxes, and the banks can continue posting record profits year after year. And the NWO can keep steaming along on its projected course of the New Feudalism, where you're either a serf or a master, and all of this money wasted on looking after people who can't or won't support themselves can be retrieved and returned to the bank accounts of the wealthy, where we all know it belongs.
** And again, as reported on the National Broadcaster - the military acknowleges that shooting civilians or Afghani soldiers/police officers 'by mistake, gosh darn we're really sorry about that, and we ARE talking to our people...' makes it, you know, well, just maybe a bit more difficult for the locals to trust them in their Noble Mission of Bringing Democracy to the Infidel .... - never, never does one cease to be amazed at the insights of the Canadian military .... nor the willingness of the Canadian media to act as their personal PR people ...
And what the hell, one more from a couple of days ago - Federal repair bill going through the roof - Sale of properties would leave Ottawa $2-billion short on renovations" - now just imagine if your spouse came to you and said "Dear! I have a great idea! - we'll sell off the house we've been working to pay for all of our lives, and then we'll have this big amount of money in the bank, and just rent the house! lala! lala!!" - well, I can't speak for everyone, but most people would understand that this is a pretty stupid idea, at least for the house owner, although it has a lot of merit for others who want to reduce the security of that houseowner and increase their own wealth - and, of course, since we are talking about the country itself here, we're talking about assets that have been acquired over years that the gov is planning to sell, which is reducing our own 'capital base' - which is, of course, what the neocon movement is all about, reducing the ability of the people to govern themselves, reducing the ability of the people to stand up to the wealthy elite. They're doing a good job of it. And 'we the people' are looking like Joe Schmuck on sucker's day at the bigtop as they steal everything out from under us. It's so freaking embarrassing sometimes to appear to be part of this species.
Gatekeeping - two meanings, first, of course, the people in charge of any particular media choose what stories to publish and what not to, with motives more involved with presenting a certain worldview to their listeners/readers than 'holy cow we can't talk about everything you know!!' as they say - and second, by keeping the people ignorant of things they should know, they effectively control and maintain the gate of the box, beyond which people cannot pass without knowledge of certain things that are happening in their society ....
Feb 15 National Pispot
In the box: - - How Canada can help contain the Iranian threat - and I quote: "... In recent years, Tehran has expanded its sponsorship of terror in the Middle East through it proxies in Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian Authority; undertaken aggressive foreign operations through Hezbollah, from Europe to South America; grossly violated the rights of its citizens, especially women and students; curtailed press freedoms; and murdered a Canadian, Zahra Kazemi..."
Out of the box: - now one might wonder why, in a 'free' press dedicated to telling the truth to people, one wouldn't see a headline like, oh, "How Canada is helping to back the Iranian government into a corner" - or maybe "How Canada is increasingly viewed as a terrorist threat to Iran, because of its unquestioning support of US imperialism, and as we all know, if you support terrorism, you're no better than a terrorist yourself" - or - well, various others come to mind. Wouldn't it be just as correct - no no no, much MORE correct, actually - to say that "In recent years, CANADA has increased its support of terrorism in the middle east by its de facto support of the American invasion of Iraq and their killing/murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians directly or indirectly through the civil war they have precipitated in the country, and pretty much directly been involved with terrorism in Afghanistan through its participation in the invasion and occupation of that country, with the overthrow of the Afghani government in 2001, and subsequent civil chaos in that country - and very directly in the NATO bombing and shooting of god knows how many civilians - that is to say, you can run excuses by me as long as you like, but I don't think you can ever come up with one that justifies bombing a wedding party and pretend it is something other than terrorism. That is to say, consider a bit of perspective - if a wedding party in Canada was bombed by, oh, let's say some Afghani group, and they later put out a press release saying something like "Heck, we're sorry, you know, but we thought that some 'important' Canadian soldiers were there, and of course Canadian soldiers are legitimate targets because you bastards are invading our country" - well, do you think the Canadian press would buy it? Would you?
But then, I apparently live in a different world, with some strange connection to this place I find myself, so who gives a fuck. I better not even start on the CBC story from Charlottetown which spread national yesterday about kids 'using the f word oh my god!!!!' in school. We gonna blame that on the kids, you betcha, and we sure as fuck ain't gonna make no connection to the complete lack of ethics and morality we're seeing in the 'new world' from leaders, from whence the kids get their ideas. No sirree, that one ain't on the table. More on that the next time.
Feb 14 CNEWS and others
In the box: - - Tories launch new Dion attack ads
Out of the box: - it's always a mistake to think things couldn't get worse, I suppose. If intelligent people were ever gathered together talking about things political in the world, you'd just want to hang your head in shame to even be part of the country where this sort of shit is happening. The national government of all people in Canada, doing juvenile mickeymouse shit like this. And the papers reporting it as if it is just another story. There really isn't a whole lot of hope left. If there are any intelligent people out there, please wake the fuck up soon.
I don't know exactly of one, but I am sure the ancient northern people who used to live where the lemmings lived must have had some saying about it, that it may be a sad sort of thing, but there's no point in trying to stop the lemmings once they've decided to go over the cliff. Just get out of their way, and try to save some bits and pieces to start again.
Feb 14 Various
In the box: - - Tax cuts coming, Flaherty vows - and then we have UN says British, U.S. kids worst off in industrial world; Canada 12th out of 21" - and the recent stories about the 'wait times' farce, the 10 years of inaction on Kyoto, and many other stories about the gov not having enough money for this or that (although they seem to have lots for military ventures), Poor heart attack patients treated differently: study, homeless people and food banks in ever greater numbers in 'prosperous' Canada. And their only response is more of the same. And -
Out of the box: - the only thing I keep wondering is, where is everybody? Does nobody care anymore? Does nobody think anymore? Does nobody have the balls to stand up and say "WE'VE HAD ENOUGH!!!!" anymore, or even to sort of indicate some sort of support for those few of us trying to fight back? The neocons all over the world are leading us directly into some very bad places, the signs of it are all over the place, often kicking the people in the face, and nobody in most of the country seems to care. Ignorance hardly is acceptable as an excuse. Oh well, maybe someday I'll wake up and find this is all just a bad dream. Or not. More likely, I think, is someday soon a whole lot of people are going to wake up and find they have allowed a bad dream to take place around them. And they're not going to be able to wake up. Frog in the boiling water. Check it out. And think. Turn the freaking television off and think.
All over the country we see the problems caused by the government saying they don't have enough money (lies of course - Canada is an incredibly rich country in every way, but Canadians have just allowed most of it to be stolen - and they keep stealing it, and Canadians in front of their tvs keep believing the lies). And the gov says it's determined to cut taxes even more. Does this mean anything?
Check out the original Robin Hood story sometime. Find out how he really died (in the book, not any of the movies!). Think about it. The world needed a Robin Hood after the WWII. Canada was one of the contenders, really. Then we got wounded, betrayed really, by our leaders. And found a bloodletter..... and the cure is ?????
Feb 12 London Free Press
In the box: - - CMHC 'subsidizing' grow ops: MPs
Out of the box: - well, we'll forgo the comment on 'free', I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder sort of thing - but one wonders why - well -
Dear LFP - did your reporter ask these MPs why it is that since polls have shown for years that well over 60% of Canadians do not think smoking pot should be illegal, what exactly they think they are doing here, and why they are not spending their time trying to correct this long-standing, and quite serious, democratic deficit in our country? And quite obviously, if smoking the stuff was not a criminal act, then growing it could hardly be - and instead of spending huge amounts of money playing these farcical 'catch the grow-ops!!!!' games, and terrorizing citizens who would not be breaking any laws if the People of Canada had any say in what was legal or not in 'their' country, the government could be raking in huge amounts of tax money, income tax from the growers who would be making a good income, and then some sort of probably quite lucrative tax on the pot itself (hard to imagine the government not doing this, with the huge amounts it takes in from alcohol and cigarettes already). Also providing quite a lot of jobs for people working in the business in secondary capacities - legitimate farm employees, packagers, delivery people, accountants and all the related spin-offs - win-win-win, mostly, for the gov and people, although perhaps the 'crackdown' cops might lose a bit of face, and a few lawyers take a bit of a hit. And maybe some MPs or higher-ups would take a bit of a tongue-lashing from the American crazies - but heck, are our MPs working for the people of Canada or the Americans? (or is that one of those 'heh heh wink wink nudge nudge' questions that, you know, we just don't really talk about, heh heh, wink wink etc?)
But you are supposed to be an independent newspaper serving the people of London, not the gov or the cops or the Americans, yes? Does that 'free' in your title mean anything beyond 'he who can afford to own a newspaper is free to print whatever they want and support whatever they want'? Why are you jumping on the propaganda bandwagon of trying to continually demonize people who use or provide this substance that most Canadians believe should NOT be illegal? Is this your idea of 'democracy'?
C'mon, show us how 'free' you are - print a letter that supports democracy and We the People, rather than the current 'do as you're told and don't ask questions' version of 'democracy' we currently live under in Canada.
Feb 6 Star etc
In the box: - - Unhealthy wait times
Out of the box: - just another indication of how stupid everyone in Canada seems to be these days. And I use that word with full intention, not some slang because I don't know any better words. One can't judge entirely the level of intelligence of those pushing this propaganda, because those pushing propaganda are often (not always by any means) more intelligent than those they are propagandizing, but the average 'journalist' such as we see writing here has probably just absorbed the propaganda and is, bandwagon-wise, adding his or her spin to the 'idea' and passing it on as if they actually knew anything, and the average Canadian just absorbing it and regurgitating it as they do with most of their 'thoughts' etc from the mainstream media, mostly television, where they get most of whatever porridge fills their 'brains'. (if they were having more intelligent thoughts about this (or anything else for that matter), they're certainly doing their best to keep it quiet)
Assessing the state of Canada's health care system by focusing on 'wait times' is about as sensible as assessing the state of Canada's economy by sending a bunch of 'researchers' around to see how long people were waiting in bank lines for banking 'services'. There may be some peripheral relationship, but sure as hell you are not going to get any good ideas about improving things by detailing this information.
People are waiting longer than they should for something - is there some reason that people need to be told that the obvious answer is that there are not enough people providing the service they need, which creates wait lines?
And that for those with even a slight bit more intelligence, this can be seen to trace back fairly directly to the huge cutbacks in funding that the federal government imposed during the years of the National Debt Scam?
Sure, there might be related issues, in any huge bureaucracy there will be some money misspent in one way or another, but again, focusing attention on this is only a diversion - the disappointing thing, to someone outside of the box, is that so many people one would think had some intelligence fall for this horseshit when it is thrown at them.
Can people not see and understand that when they see stories about record bank profits, and a health care system falling apart in Canada, that these things are very directly related - and that the 'waiting lines' 'issue' is a direct result of that nexus?
It's pretty simple - Canadians have a choice to make - they can either support ever increasing bank profits and ever longer waiting lines, or they can demand that banks and other highly profitable corporations operating in Canada (and the 'investors' who own all that stuff) pay some taxes to support the services they should have, as part of the collective 'fruits of their labour'.
Who's running the country anyway? The Banks/'investors' et al. - or the People?
(haha rhetorical question entirely, at least for some of us - but the rest of you might give it a thought, or else quit complaining about 'waiting times' - they're only going to get better if you start taking some of that tax money you are allowing the banks and other wealthy investors to steal from your collective treasury/bank account and put it back into the health care system from whence it was stolen in the first place - no, money does not solve every problem - but on the other hand, you cannot build hospitals and pay doctors and other health care personnel and buy lab equipment etc without it. You can't have a Caddy ride on a VW budget. No matter how long you spend monitoring the air pressure in the tires, and pretending that is somehow related to the actual problem.)
Feb 2 CBC
In the box: - - Not much good news about press freedom, reporters group says
Out of the box: - But what about press responsibility?
I read with interest the news story on your recent report on press freedom (Not much good news about press freedom, reporters group says), and agreed with much of it - we certainly face problems, and always have and probably will, from repressive governments and others wishing to control information flow in the modern world, and trying to inhibit or shut down the freedom of reporters and newspapers to do their job.
But, again in the modern world, and especially in 'democratic' countries such as Canada (which is my home country and thus the one on which I focus most of my attention), there is another related issue that you (along with most other press councils) seem to overlook which is (or should be), I believe, of even greater concern in these countries in the modern world - the issue of press responsibility. Although few would suggest that the Canadian press is not 'free', a 'free' press is not of much use, at least to 'we the people', if it does not behave with integrity and responsibility in informing the public of the things they need to know, and yet we see, I believe, an increasing lack of responsibility in the Canadian press towards a number of very important issues in our country and world (and other countries as well, no doubt, but as I noted, I mainly follow the Canadian press, so will address my criticisms there.) More and more, as we see more and more media concentration and fewer and fewer owners, we see the major media, often called the mainstream media or MSM, apparently promoting the interests of their corporate owners, very much in opposition to the interests of the common people whom they purportedly serve. And such behavior, to whatever extent true, may be their right as a 'free' media provider of whatever sort in a 'free' country, but it cannot be called 'responsible' to the citizens of the country in which it is occurring; indeed, words much less laudatory would be much more suitable.
If the media was acting responsibly, I would suggest, it would be telling Canadians what different groups of people were thinking or advocating, but not be obviously promoting one particular policy - it seems to me, at least, that if the media overall were 'fair and impartial', then they would reflect in some congruent way the ideas and desires of the Canadian people. That is to say, if, in some controversial situation, as it arose, approximately half of Canadians were thinking they wished to follow course A, and half course B, the media would offer commentary and ideas in some more or less equivalent ratio from each perspective, and let the people work out which side they preferred through intelligent discussion and debate as all relevant facts and opinions were placed on the table, and come to some consensus most could agree with - but if the media were 95% promoting course A over course B, and giving very little space to proponents from course B and even marginalizing or belittling those who spoke in favor of this idea, then you would have to say they were propagandizing, trying to put course A in a good light and convince those who believed in course B to change to course A, or at least keep quiet while course A was pursued. And you can call that a lot of things, but a responsible, democratic media is not one of them.
But indeed, this is what we see, in a number of major issues in the country, and have been seeing for many years now. The media does NOT generally, in important matters, reflect the popular range of opinions, or offer space for such things to be debated, but instead proselytizes in favor of a particular course. In a fairly major way, once it decides to do so.
And that is not, it seems to me, 'responsible' behavior, unless you are of the opinion that it is the duty of the media to influence the policy direction of the country through such activities, treating the citizens as 'consumers' of some sort, to be swayed by whichever business has the biggest advertising budget or something.
There are various issues of considerable importance in our country and world that the people in a democratic country need to be fully informed of in order to participate in a discussion and make intelligent decisions about what the policy of the country should be concerning such issues - and yet if the press gives only one side of such issues, or weights their coverage of such issues very strongly in one direction so as to try to push the people in a certain direction concerning which policy ought to be followed, then it is not, I would suggest, fulfilling its duty of impartial news coverage, but can be seen to be acting more as a propaganda agent for whichever party wishes to follow the promoted path.
There are many examples of such things in the last several years, up to and including many things happening at the current time. Just a small sampling:
I first noticed this in a major way in 1988, when Canada had the infamous 'free trade election'. This issue arose quite suddenly as a new government initiative never mentioned during the previous election campaign (except in passing, when Mulroney said he would never consider such a thing as free trade as it would be very bad for Canada, but then scant months after being elected suddenly decided it was absolutely essential for Canada, and the selling campaign began). In any event, considerable opposition to 'free trade' quickly arose in the country, and the issue became largely fought in the media. And although Canadians were, according to polls before and after, disinclined to accept the idea, the coverage in the media was overwhelmingly in favor of the FTA, and dissenting voices were marginalized as much as possible, beyond the few prominent spokespeople allowed some minimal coverage. Of course, Canadians voted by a solid majority to reject Mulroney and his FTA, but due to the vagaries of the Canadian electoral system which is designed to allow parties with minority support to gain a plurality of seats, we got both Mulroney and 'free' trade. (the refusal of the media to allow discussion of this outdated electoral system is itself a major indication of their irresponsibility to the Canadian public)
More recently, we see things like 'terrorism' and the Canadian participation in the Afghanistan invasion and regime change being supported virtually across the board by the Canadian media, with almost no allowing whatsoever of dissenting voices, although many eloquent voices are available in alternative media, and polls show that, for instance, as far as Afghanistan is concerned, most Canadians do not think we should be there as part of an invading force, even though there is considerable ambivalence around the issue as Canadians have all been well indoctrinated with the notion that we must 'support our troops' no matter what they are up to, or who is commanding them. But the Canadian media has next to no time or space for any voices opposing this Canadian military role, but feeds Canadians a constant stream of pro-invasion/war propaganda and jingoistic coverage of our great troops and their sacrifice and the 'humanitarian' work they are doing to rally Canadians around 'our troops', etc and etc.
Or what about the matter of 'illegal' drug use, especially soft drugs? The Canadian press is again notable for its absence of fairness in its coverage of this issue, as it devotes considerable space to government and police stories about 'getting the drug users' and virtually no space at all to the many voices and groups pushing for the removal of these laws. And again, polls have shown consistently over the years that well over 60% of Canadians do not think soft drugs such as marijuana should be criminalized, yet government after government refuses to do anything about this, except perhaps, in the case of Harper for instance, avow that no matter what Canadians think about this, they are going to 'crack down' even harder on any and all such lawbreakers, give the police more money and power, continue the 'war on drugs', etc and etc. And the media generally supports this government policy by refusing to carry any regular coverage of the opposition to these laws, or the way most Canadians feel about them. And in doing so, they are acting very irresponsibly, I would suggest, at least in terms of their duty to the Canadian people. If they really served the Canadian people rather than someone else (whoever instituted these laws and wishes them to continue), then surely they would be featuring this issue more, giving space to people demanding this very undemocratic set of laws was cancelled, and the police and courts stopped filling the jails with people most Canadians do not see as criminals, and so on. They are certainly capable of doing such a thing - if we consider the free trade promotion as an example, imagine what might happen if the Canadian media decided that soft drugs should be decriminalized, and filled their papers with stories promoting this idea for as long as it took to get the people agitating for this??
Or there is the matter of issues such as what I call the National Debt Scam, which arose from the changed policy beginning during the 70s of the creation of most of the nation's money supply by private banks, which is then loaned to governments or private individuals. This is a huge scam, there is no other way to put it, which benefits the wealthy bank owners and investors immensely, of course, but is very harmful to Canadian people in general through the 'service' charges they must pay on such money, and their ability to create and maintain a prosperous country for the benefit of all citizens. And yet the MSM simply refuse to talk about this issue. And this very directly reflects their ownership, of course, for the now very concentrated Canadian media is owned almost completely by wealthy investors who are also very well connected to the banking system with its immense profits, so have essentially zero interest in doing anything to compromise this very golden goose - but this is, again, of course, very detrimental to the Canadian people, and we see very clearly the gulf between a 'free' press and a 'responsible' press - a press at any rate not 'responsible' to the Canadian people, although of course the argument could be made that it is indeed 'responsible' to the interests and desires of their owners.
There are many other issues I could raise, from the Canadian participation in the Yugoslavia bombing a few years ago to the lies of the American government to justify the Iraq invasion in 2003 through 'social control' issues such as the no smoking drive, in which the press very strongly pushes a certain policy on the people, and allows no reasonable discussion at all, no matter what the feelings of a majority of the people.
This is not trivial stuff - it is actually about as important as the difference between a violent, destructive world promoting a small elite class and a huge serf class, and a world that strives to be a good and decent place for most of its people. We have a mainstream media that, under all of the 'feel good' stuff, essentially promotes war and injustice and elitism, rather than giving the citizens the information they need to understand that this is happening, and how to work together to defeat these destructive forces. And until a lot of people start to understand this, we are going to remain in a very perilous situation. I would hope that a group such as yourselves would be a bit more astute in understanding this in the future, and using whatever influence you have to counteract it.
As the old saying has it, quite truthfully at times, if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.
And that is about all I wanted to say - if you want more, please feel free to get in touch.
Feb 1 CNEWS
In the box: - - TV show promo sets Boston in a panic
Out of the box: - I think it was Frank Zappa who first noted maybe 30 years ago - It ain't getting any smarter out there. And this is 30 years down the road. And it ain't getting any smarter. Of course, these are the people who tried to elect George Bush again, and who believe Saddam had WMD and was planning to invade America, and all sorts of other really weird stuff - here is a scary sort of vid clip of some apparently probably quite nice, but still very scary, people. Robots are like that - you don't really know who or what controls them, but you know they are NOT rational.
Jan 31 C'NEWS'
In the box: - - Author looks at blogging
Out of the box: - - absolutely no reason for this 'piece' at all, except to remind people to get back in their boxes, nothing to see here citizens, we wonderful people at the Canadian media are telling you all you need to know, get away from that internet and back to your tvs where you belong. Or something along those lines.
Blatant nonsense from beginning to end. They start with a Beatles quote about 'where did all the lonely people come from', and the answer is The Internet!!! ...And that answer, says Dr. Michael Keren, is the cyberspace world of the blogosphere... - it's not quite evident from the piece if the writer is so young and stupid he actually believes that, or he is so stupid no matter what age that he thinks everyone else is so stupid they will believe it, or if he is such a poor writer that he did not actually mean to say what he did. (Note, either way, the writer does not pass any intelligence test. But he works for the Sun, and I think intelligence is a screening device there - that is to say, if any is evident, you don't get a job there). Nor is it always clear how accurately he is quoting the book, but the actual writer, this Keren character, is 'Canada Research chairman of communication, culture and civil society' - thus we can assume he is firmly in, of and for the Box, whether knowingly or otherwise.
The nonsense and lies are palpable - "...Although the medium offers seemingly unlimited freedom of expression, Keren said bloggers too often shape public opinion by reporting distorted versions of the facts... Social dialogue and political dialogue must be marked by restraint one of the victims of the blogging phenomenon is the truth, - lord tunderin jazus as the man said, how much out of touch can one person be? Quite a lot, I suppose - it's the mainstream media who have a lot of answering to do about killing the truth and lack of restraint the last lot of years, anything from the national debt scam through Bush's lies about Iraq and everything else - and I'm trying to think of what kind of restraint we see from the CMCM when the CSIS people want to stir things up with LOOKOUT HERE COME THE TERRORIST!@!!!!!! OHMYGODDDDD talk - more or less none at all, is my recollection. And it wasn't bloggers who spread the amazing conspiracy theory of a gang of Arabs who couldn't fly Cessnas causing all the ruckus on 911, forcing or tricking the entire greatest military organization the world has ever known into standing down for a couple of hours, revolutionizing the art of demolition by causing not one, not two, but THREE high-rise steel-concrete buildings to crumble exactly as if they were demolished, using only a few gallons of jet fuel and two airplanes for three buildings, etc etc. People who have the freedom to talk a bit now to wider audiences through the internet do probably have some influence in getting some truth that the mainstream media tries to conceal out, however, which is, of course, what all this is about - these people were and are very, very concerned about that, and this is just one of the small things to try to keep the people from turning away from their indoctrination.
"...Keren notes blogging has become a tool for politicians, big business and celebrities, which he said undermines notions of the medium belonging to the masses.. - ???? !!!!! - yea, read it again, it's quite awesome, Alice through the looking glass, the complete reversal of the truth - for years we have seen the mainstream media, which is supposed to be the honorable 4th estate, looking out for we the people, as a tool for politicians and big business and celebrities to spread whatever garbage and propaganda they wanted to the people - and the internet comes along, where the small people can talk - and he says it is the tool etc????? Orwell knew this was coming.
...And too often, he added, blogs substitute words for action and the trivial for the timely. In the blogosphere, the death of an aging cat is on the same emotional level as an earthquake in Pakistan, he said... - so the writer (either or both?) think that every blog should operate with the gravitas of a reputable national newspaper?? (no, I am not implying we had any at all) - that all blogs must be the same? that's just an idiotic thing to say, like the whole piece, with all the thought and discernment a self-centered 8-year old might show about things - if Auntie May types up a few words on a blog about her quilting bee, then everyone should dismiss all blogs because they do not comment meaningfully on world events? This guy has a real problem. But I repeat myself. And as badly, he implies (Oh, you bad, but we good!!) that the mainstream media does treat serious matters with the gravitas they deserve, which is hardly the case - check the stories of the deaths of Afghani civilians killed by Canadians the last few months, for just one example that comes to mind, and the CCMSM has nothing more than the barest mention of these deaths at all, if anything - but for Canadian soldiers killed, we get the whole song and dance from family interviews about what a great guy he was to politicians speechifying about how the dead guy was doing his duty and was a great patriot, holidays for school kids to come and pay tribute, the whole bit. What horse shit to pretend the Canadian media acts with any kind of impartiality, in this or anything else. It's the internet that is full of stories we need to see about these things - and if some of them are exaggerated or even not true - well, the MSM exaggerates and spins and hides a lot of things too - it is up to the reader to sort things out. But when the MSM hides and lies so much, we never knew what it was they were hiding - until now.
Or truth - really, if you need to see the level of triviality the Canadian media spews on an average day, you just need to see this piece - but where are the pieces on the World Social Forum that was held in Africa last week, a gathering of people from all over the world trying to create a better society? Where are the articles on DU in Iraq that is killing so many people, or on what Canada is really up to in Haiti, or the crumbling Canadian infrastructure, or the plan to integrate the US, Mexico and Canada, or so many other things? And as for integrity - well, this hasn't hit CNEWS yet, but it comes from supposedly an even more reputable paper - MPs urge swifter action on Arar 'leakers' - about how, well, let them tell you - "...The federal government still doesn't know who is behind the campaign to smear the reputation of Maher Arar, senior security officials said yesterday..". Hmmmmmmm. Read the piece, and think of Holmes and the Strange Case of the Dog in the Night. Right - not a single mention of media culpability here. And yet there is no objective way to examine this story since Arar was betrayed by the Canadian spies and sent to Syria without coming to the conclusion that if the Canadian media had of been doing any kind of decent job, this whole thing would never have happened. Instead of simply playing secretary and propagandist for the RCMP and government, which has seemed to be about their main role the last few years and fuck we the people, they ought to have been asking questions and doing some checking themselves, and printing a bit more truth and a lot fewer lies from spies, and just maybe Arar might have avoided some or much of his ordeal. It's pretty hypocritical of them to do this kind of thing now, finger-pointing all over the place except where they really ought to be looking - in the mirror.
Alice come back. We need you.
Jan 29 - The 'Star'
In the box: - - Income guarantee deserves new look - "...Some ideas just never go away. Like the idea of a guaranteed annual income, which seems to find its way back into Canadian public policy debates about every 10 years..."
Out of the box: - - fish in a barrel, for anyone with a head outside the fog of the box. What they are actually saying, of course, is that about every ten years they allow an idea that is extremely unpopular in the High Towers of
They're so obvious.
Scary part is - most people don't seem to understand this. Or much care. For some reason I keep getting this vision in my head of a big ship in the night, full of laughing dancing people in the Captain's ballroom - about 5 minutes away from a big iceberg that's going to do some real bad stuff to em all. Ignorance, nor stupidity, aren't really bliss. They're just ignorance and stupidity, and they're going to get you in trouble, and sooner rather than later.
Jan 20-ongoing, various
In the box: - - Pickton
Out of the box: - - quite a spectacle, all the way around. No, it's not the trial I refer to, a man has been accused of a crime and he is getting a trial, all according to democratic theory, which could be totally avoided with a little judicious use of scopalomine, but that wouldn't serve the various purposes of the state, which a farcical legal-judicial system such as this one does very well, and more importantly it might give citizens ideas about using the same technique on various politicians and other high officials who are quite obviously lying a lot about a lot of things.
But no, what is much more interesting, and instructive, for out-of-the-box observers, is the media talking about themselves throughout, about how they have such a tough job to do, in this and many other ways, but by golly they are just so good at it!! - they can't keep away from the theme for more than a day before someone is just dancing back in front of that narcissian mirror. How lucky we Canadians are to have such a wonderful media!!! It all gets a bit barf-inducing at times, and would be funny if they weren't all so dangerous, and such a central part of the entire Box system. And the scarier part of it all is that I actually believe a lot of these people are so thoroughly indoctrinated they actually believe what they are saying. The Box truly does rule in Canada at this stage of our history.
The first thing I noticed was Jan 18 on the Current, when they had a discussion about 'Citizen Journalists', people covering parts of the trial from different perspectives. They presented it as some sort of 'alternative' journalism, but it wasn't really anything new or different any more than, say, a university student newspaper is, it was just some people talking about things in more detail than the MSM chose to. No big deal, nothing really controversial, even in the best of times (which this surely is not) the mainstream papers could not cover everything that everybody wanted covered, and people do stuff themselves sometimes - but it did highlight the fact (without actually putting it in words), that the MSM accepts CERTAIN such 'journalists', as non-threatening, in a patronizing sort of way, and will invite them into the studio for a cup of tea and a pat on the head, and also to show what fair-minded people they all are - as opposed to actual alternative journalism, which challenges the lies and propaganda of the MSM, which they avoid as much as possible, and if they do happen to have to acknowledge such things, they are very aggressive and play spin games to belittle such people, as with the 911 story a few months ago where the same dear Anna Maria tried to make Barry Zwicker look like a tinhatter, but at the end emerged with her own gatekeeping hat somewhat exposed and askew, not to mention her inability to deal with people who don't accept her Goddess Status as Chief of the Main CBC Morning Show ALL FREAKING BOW NOW PEASANTS!!!! and dare to talk back a bit and even show her up (which is, of course, why they avoid such people as much as possible - the spin rarely can engage the truth in a heads-on open encounter and emerge unscathed, so much better to simply avoid it or ridicule it from afar, as they do).
But in this show, the main interviewees were just so full of themselves one sometimes wanted to smack them like a self-centered child who cannot see beyond their own desire for ice cream or something. You can dig out a number of quotes from the show, all delivered in a pompous sort of 'we are soooo superior aren't we?!?' voice, along the lines of "yes, these citizen journalists do serve a function, but you know, they are not well trained like we (real) journalists are, and of course the internet itself is just so full of poor reporting and outright nonsense and spin and even lies, that it is really fortunate that the Canadian public has we well-trained journalists to rely on, who are carefully trained to search for the Truth and perform our Sacred Duty of impartially reporting on events of importance to Canadians and would just never, never, never, NEVER do anything bad, like this self-created 'citizen journalists' are apt to get up to, with their lack of training and questionable motives ..." and etc and etc - it really was that bad, if you don't believe me listen to the clip yourself. But I'm sure you know I speak truthfully, because this show was but the opening salvo, and they've been at it regularly for the last many days since the whole spectacle started. (not to mention many years)
There was another example yesterday on The House (it's not up yet, but should be soon, if you want to listen here), when the host was talking to Maher Arar's lawyer about the compensation just announced, and what everything meant, guilt and culpability, etc - the lawyer's last comment was something like they are really concerned about the role the media itself played in Arar's problems, with their apparently unquestioning acceptance of various statements from 'officials' that later turned out to be lies, but they never questioned the statements or their own role before or after. I give her some small credit for actually not cutting that out of the interview (although I wouldn't be surprised to learn that no editing was part of the agreement they had to make to even get the interview) - but she did not respond in any way, but immediately went to a short interview with dear old Stockwell (who, I must also confess, sounded more rational than I have ever heard him before - strange times indeed). So it's very obvious that many people are aware of the role of the media (that is to say, the actual role, rather than the role they credit themselves with, which are two quite different beasties) - and it says a lot that they absolutely refuse to examine themselves in any serious way. That I have ever seen or heard, anyway (actually there is a show on Enright's Sunday Morning called Spincycles purporting to trace the history of spin, but I am not especially encouraged so far, as there appears to be no attempt - avoidance even - to place the media at the center of spin where it should be portrayed as an active participant, but rather to, once again, pretend that 'real journalists' are just paragons of integrity, reporting only what they see and what, with their great judgement, they know that their readers/viewers need to know about to participate in modern society. blah-de-blah-de-blah, as we say elsewhere about that line)
Unfortunately for their spin, the truth is pretty evident these days, for those able to get their heads above the fog of the Box (as spread primarily through that same media, of course) - anything from their absolute refusal to deal with money in any realistic sense (i.e. from the national debt scam to the insanity (for we the people, at any rate) of allowing private banks to create most of the nation's money supply and charge us interest for using it, to the further insanity of allowing our economies to be controlled by a small group of high-rolling speculators who will trash an economy in hours by destroying its currency with nary a thought for the tens of millions of people they impoverish by doing so) - to their constant hyping of the terrorism myth with NO coherent discussion of anything important allowed (that is, for instance, insofar as there actually is international terrorism, why is it happening? Hint - the answer is NOT 'because they hate our great freedoms',although you get essentially zero discussion of the atrocities of the last 100-odd years the western countries, led by the US and GB, have been perpetrating on the mid-east to ensure 'our' oil supply which are at the root of the anger these people feel towards the west) - to their equally absolute refusal to do anything beyond jingoistic rah-rah support-our-troops propaganda about the Canadian participation in the illegal invasion of Afghanistan (have you EVER seen on the MSM any mention of the fact that Canada, with that act, became a rogue nation, invading a non-threatening country? of course not - and etc) - to their complete refusal to deal with the marijuana issue (no, it's not trivial, if well over 60% of Canadians think this should not be a crime, yet year after year the cops are destroying thousands of people's lives all across Canada because of this - if the media was doing any sort of 'we the people' job at all, this issue would be on the front pages every day until the MPs were forced to get rid of this oppressive law. But no, they would rather spend huge amounts of time on lurid stories like the Pickton trial, or nonsense stories like who fucked who recently in the 'world of interesting people', etc.) And how about something very important to the so-called 'democracy' we have here, replacing the FPTP voting system with some sort of PR such as a group is currently working on in Ontario, gets mentioned maybe twice a year in the media somewhere on a far-inside page - they say nobody understands it, well, to whatever extent that is true, how is that related to the fact that all of the media do NOT want the system changed and therefore never explain it to the people? The so-called FTA was a gazillion pages of complex legal gibberish that practically nobody understands to this day (except that there were a lot of lies about it in the media, witness the logging stuff and many other things), yet that never stopped them from telling us all how much we needed it day after day after freaking day, and still promoting new 'free' trade agreements all around the world. And the way in which the media dealt with the Bush lies prior to the invasion of Iraq has never been adequately addressed - I don't think I have ever seen the word 'lie' in the Canadian media (MSM that is) in relation to this, and yet it must be obvious to even the most ardent Saddam haters that Iraq was invaded based on lies, lies, and more lies. More war crimes for Canada, with the complicity of the CMCM (ask the cops what would happen to you, as an individual citizen, if you knew a serious crime had been committed, and didn't tell the cops, and they found out about your silence - 'accessory' carries almost the same penalty as actually doing it yourself. And morally speaking, that applies to governments who do not stop dealing with the US because of their known war crimes, no matter how powerful they are.)
The question, of course, is what exactly is the media supposed to be doing? Are they the propaganda arm of the ruling elite, whose single purpose is to convince the people to go along with a program decided on by the elite - or are they a democratic media whose purpose is to inform the people of what their government is up to, in order that they (the people) can keep an intelligent eye on what they (the gov) are up to, and be prepared to get them back in line with what the people actually want, if necessary. It is quite obvious that inside the box people believe the latter, but outside the box we see quite clearly the real purpose is the former.
The problem is with the whole Box thing. Inside the Box, actually, these media people, or most of them, probably are almost as good as they think they are, and many or most of them actually do try to act with some integrity, in that Box. It is when their Box beliefs and indoctrination have them doing things such as mentioned above that cover up the outside-the-Box greater reality that their job becomes dangerous, and needs to be criticized - when they need some kind of figurative smack, like the kid and his ice cream.
Oh well, no need to rag on. Either you have managed to get at least part of your brain outside of the box and know whereof I speak, or I passed your tv-trained attention span long ago.
Dear Ms Tremonti,
Greetings from Thailand, from a regular listener via the internet. Mostly I enjoy your show and guests, but there are times I think you are not quite covering everything you ought to - you, that is, in the sense of the Canadian media in general, but of which you in the CBC radio are supposed to be the creme de la creme for the thinking person. For instance, yesterday (Jan 27) I heard an interview with Maher Arar's lawyer on The House, and at the end he made a couple of comments about how he really felt the Canadian media needed to be required to do some considerable explaining about its role in Mr Arar's overall problems. I quite agree. This is not really the purview of The House, but it might be something The Current could usefully do - there are, actually, quite a lot of other areas besides the Arar case where you folks ought to be doing quite a bit more real questioning of what you yourselves are up to. Of course, asking the media to investigate themselves is a bit like looking to the RCMP to investigate accusations of police wrongdoing, and should you accept this mission (I must confess I do not hold high hopes you will), might I suggest you get a few people who are generally seriously critical of the media, as well as the standard media apologists ('oh well, maybe we make a small mistake sometimes but really we always mean well') - people such as Barry Zwicker, for instance, or perhaps Michael Chossudovsky, or Michael Keefer of Trent University - all would not be shy, I think, in pointing out the issues you really ought to be thinking about, and the many places you actually appear to be gatekeeping and spinning and covering things up rather than reporting what Canadians need to know with a fearless demand for the truth no matter where it leads - and especially if it leads to a mirror, which you tend to avoid like the plague (narcissistic justifications of such things as your tabloid-like focus on the current Pickering extravaganza do not count, at least in a positive sense). (more criticism of the Canadian media can be found here if you aren't exactly sure what things I am talking about - http://www.rudemacedon.ca/lgi/ogi-home.html )
Jan 17 - London 'Free Press'
In the box: - - Tell me, who is at fault?
Out of the box: -
Dear Mr Gillespie,
Re your "Tell me, who is at fault?" column a couple of days ago:
- an interesting column altogether, and I tend to agree with you about responsibility, but we seem to have some different notions of what 'responsibility' actually is - for instance, why should the bar owner be responsible for the man who did the shooting? Why isn't the man responsible for his own behaviour - including how much he drinks? I agree with you about the driver of the SUV - if he's too distraught still from the robbery to think straight, then he has no business getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, and should have been found responsible for the death of the man. The lady and the water, now, gets into more ambiguous territory - she certainly has some responsibility for participating in a stupid contest - but then we have to go a bit further as well - what about the entire society and culture she has lived in all her life, a very shallow and stupid sort of culture in many respects for the majority couch potato class, that indoctrinated her with the belief that perhaps doing some really stupid thing like participating in this contest would give her some status that she was destined to avoid otherwise in her drab and meaningless life?
But actually, I think you don't even scratch the surface, here, really. For instance, what about Pavlov's dogs - should they have been punished for drooling on the floor when the bell rang? Or, in terms closer to where we live if that analogy slides by like cold pizza slides by the definition of cuisine - if a person sends his or her kids faithfully to a school every day, with all the best intentions thinking this is a necessary thing for their future because they are getting the 'education' they need to have full lives - but it later turns out that the entire 'education' system was and is primarily a brainwashing system wherein most of the kids actually learn little else aside from going somewhere all day and taking orders from someone so they fit into the wage-slave capitalist system producing great wealth for the rulers of their country with as little protest as possible - how much responsibility does that parent have for wrecking the life of a human being, not to mention supporting a terribly dystopic system?
Or, let me see, if a writer works for a newspaper, and refuses to write about certain stories of considerable importance because he or she has been told (and perhaps even honestly believes) that such things are 'conspiracy theories' of some sort - but it later turns out these things were true - does any responsibility attach to the writer or the paper for misleading the people into accepting bad or even unlawful actions by their government, but actions which are certainly to the great detriment of the people of the country? What if the government actually lies in order to try to convince the people to accept certain policies, and the newspapers either carry the lies with no comment or even promote the lies themselves? Or (horrors!) what if the owners of the newspapers are actually in some sort of cahoots with the major government leaders, and conspire together to maintain some fiction of great harm to the people of the country - and thus only hire people to work for them who either do not know about these lies, or for some reason actually support them? What about the consequences for all of these people?
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. And what about the dozens or hundreds of letters newspapers receive from people trying to tell them about such things, that are immediately deep-sixed with no acknowledgment, let alone being printed, in order that the country can carry on with some very bad policies? Any responsibility accruing there?
Well, I won't bother you further, just thought I'd do a bit of devil's advocacy here - some of us are watching, and we do hope that at some time in the future you will meet your own 'father' in some way, and she or he will be as skeptical of your excuses for your support of such things through your 'work' as you are of your son's or these other people you write of.
What goes around .......
(if you really have no idea what I am talking about, and want a bit of enlightenment, you might start here http://www.rudemacedon.ca/lgi/debtscam.html , and read around a bit afterwards....)
Jan 11 CBC
In the box: - - CBC Charlottetown - on the morning show, in which they did a report on a 'going away' party for a few PEI reservists heading for Afghanistan in a few days....
Out of the box: - this was most enlightening to hear, if somewhat depressing. I understand much better now that those who oppose the Canadian military activities in support of the NWO-soontobeifwedontwakeupREALquick-American Hegemon in such places as Afghanistan have close to zero hope of persuading any majority of the 'average people' of the country that we should not be there, or there, or anywhere else for the current reasons. In a way, although undoubtedly not intended that way, it was a demonstration by those who run the country that they DO run it, in the sense that they control as near to completely as will ever matter what most people think about things that are important to them (the rulers). The event was attended by the Premier of the province (I think, if not him some other very high people) and many other MLAs, all authorities on the Island supported it, the media obviously supported it completely, no questions about anything else allowed or even considered - the atmosphere was that any questioning about the 'mission' here would be sort of like letting off a loud smelly fart at a funeral or something and giggling about it. Just not done, old chap.
And the participants, well, the couple they interviewed were the very cream of our youth, of course, fine upstanding young men, facing danger bravely, leaving their young families to do their duty for their country. One was going to miss his young kid's first birthday, which was a bit sad, but you do what you gotta do, you know. And the wives were similar in their reactions, tough stuff, but when your country is at stake, well, if you gotta go, you gotta go, brave lads off to fight the heathen in far off lands, to protect Our Way of Life and Good Stuff Like That. The kid has a teddy bear, and Dad and the kid will both somehow use that teddy bear as a reminder of each other's undying love for the other, it's all just so sad. It was a good show, altogether - and very, very few people, I suspect, could be utterly old assholes who stood back and dared to say things like, well, like you read here.
Which was, no doubt, if not the central purpose of it all, certainly part of the purpose - get those people to stand together in support of 'the mission', and affirm their support, in a way that would be very hard to overcome if there happen to be any lingering doubts about anything.
Because, of course, none of us who oppose this invasion of other people's countries, now or at other times, have any quarrel (or not much, generally) with the young innocent soldiers or their families, but, when we get down to the lower levels of street fighting about 'the missions', this is where we will wind up, rather than in any discussion of what the hell we, as a country, are doing rampaging around in OTHER people's countries supporting what really is becoming 'the evil empire', lying to our own people and everyone else about it - and we who oppose will lose, at least until a lot more people start waking up to what is really going on here, which doesn't really seem likely to start happening any time soon, as long as the primary frame, for the average person, does not get beyond 'support our troops rah rah!!!'.
That was the sort of central thing I noticed about the whole thing, how shallow and stupid (in the best sense of the word, really, just conveying some rather profound unintelligence, for 'adult' citizens of the province and country) most of the people talking on the show were, the 'dumbed down' nation that the rulers have been working towards for decades, in full exhibition on this show. I've been having some serious thoughts about the unfairness of calling citizens 'sheep' or 'sheeple' and other derogatory things the last couple of years, as most people I know seem at least a little smarter than that, just terribly indoctrinated into bad things, with ongoing propaganda to keep them there - but sheep-like seems to be the end result of this indoctrination and propaganda, if you had to judge by the comments of both 'soldiers' and their wives in this broadcast - stuff right out of some civics book for young people, parroting jingoistic slogans, we the good guys vs some enemy we won't even talk about, with 'minds' that have been quite terribly wasted altogether (we do recall that forgettable VP candidate's famous words, do we not?) - Orwell's society in action, marching hither and yon, then doing a 180 degree reverse step upon command with no questions asked, yes sir, at the command of the Leader. One can easily imagine this is the kind of thing we would have seen in Hitler's Germany, the Hitler Youth, off to fight the enemy and Do Good Things in the Name of the Fatherland!!! - or Bush's Babies, Fighting to Protect Glorious America!!!! - and there is nothing, nothing, nothing, NOTHING good ever to come of such things, for We the People, except dead bodies and more abuse from those who rule us.
Oh well, maybe more later, it's a bit hard to write about things like this, kind of like standing on the shore of the ocean with a little kiddie bucket and thinking you have to empty it to get to the other side where you want to be. Maybe not - why bother? If you're reading this, you probably understand what I'm talking about without a lot more words, if you don't understand, then it would probably take a lot more words than I want to write or you want to read, if you've even bothered to read this far.
Jan 8/07 At the Movies
In the box: - - The Sentinel
Out of the box: - watched the movie the last couple of nights - maybe a 5/10 on the scale, watchable, good escapism - but the people in Hollywood do love the propaganda. As always, the Pres and other leaders of (friendly) countries we saw were just such good and decent people, dripping integrity and sincerity and a true belief, almost tangible, to do the very best for their people and countries in the midst of a difficult world - and although the movie wasn't themed around any sort of globalisation, the G8 meeting at the end where the big finale took place (in Toronto) was really just a prop for the last bit of action and shooting, the movie makers just had to get in some more prop - we got one shot for a few seconds of a big crowd of G8 protestors behind a big fence, cops all over the place, waving signs and shouting like a bunch of frothy-mouthed trolls doing nothing but causing trouble for the good pres and other good leaders doing the best etc - you could just tell they were the bad guys here, protesting all the really good stuff the really good leaders wanted to do for the poor citizens of their countries (but by golly, this is Democracy, so the people have a right to do this, misguided though they are!!). There was a small dig earlier on, when the President's secret service people (interesting how that is SS) were talking about the venue, and how those Canadians let protestors get right up to the edge of things like the meeting, so dangerous (which is somewhat less than true, more propaganda, remember the big fences erected around inner Quebec a few years ago, and the path cleared of people in Vancouver for the Asian summit before that, and cops with pepper spray and batons beating on people all over the place....) - anyway, this is part of the full spectrum propaganda of the New World Order, little bits and pieces all over the place - you just have to get the minds of the people to a place where they accept this sort of thing automatically, no questions asked - and then when other people do ask questions, on web sites such as this or in other ways if we get a few bucks together to publish something, the people just automatically react negatively - they remember the really good president and other leaders in movies like the Sentinel, and the really badass protestors, and by golly they know which world they want to live in!!
(??? Which world is that you say? Why, fantasy island, of course, where Gregory Peck is president and Darth Vader leads the bad guys - hey, we all know that!!)
Jan 7/07 Toronto Star
In the box: - - Don't discount the positive side of globalisation and Globalization column touched a raw nerve
Out of the box: -
Dear Mr Crane,
Just a couple of comments on your recent Globalization column touched a raw nerve column; I had not seen the first, Don't discount the positive side of globalisation, but have read it now, and just feel I ought to say something.
I think, first, you are misunderstanding the entire 'globablisation' goal. You seem to believe the popular fiction (as many do) that this is actually being undertaken to benefit all people of our country and the world, truly a noble goal, but about as believable as G Bush 'really' wanting to 'bring democracy' to Iraq and them other poor countries. 'Globalisation' is simply a process intended to increase the profits and power of the worlds's major players, at the expense of whoever they can steal some more money from - it's an old dynamic with a new face, nothing more nor less, but the powers of propaganda have been increasing, as those who would be king learn from earlier mistakes and setbacks. The workers of the so-called 'developed' world happened to be on the early firing line, as their jobs were shifted to other countries where labour could be had a great deal cheaper - the 'free' trade agreements were necessary to stop any governments from undertaking any kind of protectionist measures to protect their workers against this sort of thing. It is, I think, the most rampant Pollyannism to assume that the western governments can somehow compensate for the lost jobs by creating other jobs - as we are seeing with electronics, for instance - although the cheap-labour southeast Asia countries used to be considered as places where you got a cheap price but cheap products as well, nowadays, they have learned their lessons, and southeast Asian countries not only provide cheaper labour than the west, but in most cases equivalent or even superior products, quality-wise. There is no reason at all to believe this trend will not continue with your machine parts or Blackberries or whatever. Why would a Canadian manufacturer pay $40 per hour for good help making his Blackberries if he could get the same labour in India for a tenth of the cost? No reason at all - and that level of quality is quickly becoming available, as you well know.
You and others opine that it is great that tens or hundreds of thousands of workers in India or China or Mexico or other places can find jobs now where they work for 60 hours a week and can afford a hovel and a bit of rice each day for their labour rather than living in a cardboard box and slowly starving to death (I know, you normally avoid these details, but such are the general conditions of these new jobs) - but is it so great that on the other side of the world (back here in Canada that is to say), tens or hundreds of thousands of workers who once enjoyed a decent middle class lifestyle are finding they are having to sell their houses and can't afford decent medical care anymore at their new mcjob if they are lucky enough to find one? If globalisation was actually for the good of the people, this would not be happening - nor would the amazing hypocrisy of the CEOs and investors be continually in our faces, telling the workers of Canada that they must accept lower wages and less security and fewer government services - in order that (although they never actually make this connection out loud, only a fool doesn't see it) their 'investments' can maintain the highest ROI possible, and we ain't talkin 3-4% here, which used to be fine, when investment meant something rather than greed, and so that CEOs can make tens of millions per year, and downsize workers all over the place for doing so. You must be as aware as I that all over the western world the gap between the 'really haves' and everyone else is growing faster than anything else and reaching truly obscene levels - thanks to globalisation, among other things.
You note that as sort of an offsetting 'bonus' or something, the closing of the clothing industry in Canada, and shipping those jobs overseas, means Canadians (including, I guess, all of those who once had decent jobs but must now shop, when they can afford it at all, for the clothes at thrift shops) now have cheaper clothes to buy - but I would remind you, first, that in this case 'cheaper' does mean 'cheaper', and most people, if they can afford it, prefer to buy some clothes with some quality that will last a decent length of time, rather than the cheap stuff that wears out in a few months; and also, the price of 'decent' clothing hasn't gone down at all the last few years, but with the advent of brand marketing as gloabalisers sell their stuff all over the world, brand name stuff sells for extraordinary prices - which means extraordinary profits for the brand name suppliers, as their labour costs have plummeted, but the cost of your brand-name product has not. As I said at the first - this is a perfect example of what globalisation is all about - maxing the corp profit, while screwing the workers as much as possible along the way.
I think it is a very, very short-sighted plan of the globalists, as (if they aren't stopped, at any rate, as many of us are trying to do) eventually they are going to impoverish the majority of the world's workers to where they cannot buy enough products to provide the corps with profits and the whole system will collapse or go through some major 'adjustment', but long-term planning has never been known to prevail over short-term greed with these people - there always seems to be the feeling that 'they' can bail anytime with some big payoff, and they'll just leave the mess for someone else to clean up. The potential collapse of the entire environment as the growth of the human population eventually causes the whole planet to crash environmentally is also an important factor here - but again, something that simply does not figure in their short-term, grab grab grab 'philosophy'.
There is NOTHING positive to be said about this globalisation stuff, at least as it is currently being pursued, from the standpoint of the average person of the world, although it is certainly great for the corporate owners and investors, and the CEOs who understand the system and know how to play the game during this window to max investor profits and their takings from it all. You know, for instance, that our environment, the environment of the entire planet, is suffering greatly - and yet you say it is a good thing to be shipping clothes (and many other things) to Canada from overseas rather than making them here - all so the corporate investors can make a bit more money - the hell with the environment, the hell with the decent jobs in Canada those clothing makers used to have.
It COULD be a good sort of thing, if it actually was a progression to truly better things for most people rather than a race to the bottom for most everyone in the western, developed world - but that is quite obviously not the plan of those controlling the way the world is being run these days.
(And yes, I am aware that some capitalists and investors are well-meaning people and try to do good things and so on - but these people are not running the show - the show is being run by 'the bad guys', to keep it simple, as I have expressed in this letter - and until we do something about taking control of the entire world economy away from these people - well, we all are in a race to the bottom, and your optimism is, I fear, very, very misplaced)
Well, I'll leave it there, I don't think from the sound of the column I am responding to you are about to change your mind about what is happening, any more than I am - but one writes because just maybe we can reach some people some time. I would urge you to take a bit of a more expansive and thoughtful look around, and think about some of the things I have said. There is hope, and a 'people's globalisation' could indeed be a positive thing if it meant we got together to get rid of these capitalist rulers whose only goal is enslaving the entire world, but We the People are going to have to keep fighting if we want to see a better future as we fight off the corporate version of globalisation which has a lot more to do with feudalism than bringing a good life to the people of the world - and apparently well-meaning but seriously misguided people such as yourself are certainly not helping.
Jan 6/07 McLeans
In the box: - - Fleeting fame As a floor-crossing backbencher, Wajid Khan finds himself in some rather dubious company
Out of the box: - in the other MSM as well, of course - what puzzles some of us who actually think and care about this fleeting thing called 'democracy' is how this kind of thing has anything to do with that at all? Although the whole electoral system is rigged, at least a sort of majority of the people of this guy's riding apparently wanted a rep from the Liberal party - and I don't see how he can just 'cross the floor' and still pretend 'democracy' is functioning. It's a lot easier, I suppose, when nobody in the CMCM does anything other than try to turn it into just another day's news, something else to entertain the peasants with whilst the real business of the nation is conducted in the towers high over Bay St where they do NOT want you looking ever, except perhaps to bow reverentially sometimes. That is to say, of course, if, for instance, the owners of the CMCM want Canadian troops in Afghanistan, then we get the day after day after freaking day propaganda we've been getting for the last year about what great guys they all are, and what wonderful things they are doing there, even though most Canadians are still pretty skeptical of the whole idea. If the CMCM do NOT want Canadians thinking about where money comes from and why we should borrow our money supply into existence, questions of some moment considering the half trillion dollar national scam and the trillion or two dollars Canadians have already forked over to 'investors' for the great privilege of borrowing their money into existence - well, you try to remember the last time you saw anyone in the CMCM talking about that. You're gonna need some long memory. So if the Canadian media think people voting for a rep who then crosses to the other party fukyallhaha is no prob, then so shall it be decreed in their pages.
Kind of reflective of the whole idea of 'democracy' in Canada, though, I'll give it that - a complete farce. But if 'the people' don't complain, then I guess they got nothin to complain about.
Jan 5 CNEWS
In the box: - - New Canadian soldier markedly different than stereotypes of past
Out of the box: - and we can't start the new year without some good ol fashioned propaganda, let's not forget the important stuff. (CSIS has already been at it, of course, Canada's spy agency warns of dirty bomb (although once again I note that McLeans mag seems to have some secret editor who occasionally comes up with something a little odd for the CMCM, trying to add just a smidgen of common sense to the whole propaganda effort by the gov etc ???? - well, imagine that, gone already from the net version (I had originally wrote, whilst waiting for the site to find its way to me here on Green Island, a long ways away from PropCentral in TO there (or is that Winnipeg where a certain family with a name very similar to a certain small but very deadly snake lives??) '...we'll just see how long they're allowed to get away with this anti-CSIS stuff, I bet there's a few agents over there right now talking about how we have to be careful what we say when we're at war, and not cause confusion among the
The whole thing is based on false premises, as it has become quite clear to most intelligent people that the official 911 conspiracy theory of the US government, swallowed in totality by lesser entities such as the Canadian gov and media, has about as much likelihood of being true as, oh, the god myth or something like that. And that being the case, the case for invading Afghanistan, very shaky to begin with, has no legs at all. Trying to change the optics from 'catching damned terrorists who caused 911' to 'bringing freedom and democracy to them poor, poor people' really doesn't work, either, when laid out on a table in the cold light of day and looked at clearly. Nor does 'well, ya see son, we gotta fight em there so we don't gotta fight em here!' - if we weren't tagging along at the heels of the Americans doing real bad things to various people all over the world, why, them various people wouldn't have any desire at all (not to mention means) to be 'over here' doing bad stuff to us. No - the 'real' reason we are in Afghanistan, under the auspices of both major Canadian political parties and with caveated support of the others, traitors or dupes to an MP, is to keep on the good side of the US, which is busy trying to establish a world empire, focusing a good deal of attention on areas where the oil supplies are, as there is no empire in the modern military world without oil and we just don't have enough here in Canada to keep that monster fed. And to some extent, as well, I suppose, the Canadian military people have some ambitions of being 'players' in the US hegemon, which they surely will not be if they are not somewhere in the vicinity of the action. And various 'business' leaders also understand that the military of the empire is about as good a business opportunity as they're likely to find in this world, and since money has no morals (and neither do they), they don't want to miss out either.
And you ain't gonna read any of that in the Canadian media, I tell you straight. There are other sources, of course, as long as we have the internet (man, talk about the dog comin back to bite ya - if the American military had any idea at all that the internet was going to turn into what it has, it would never have got borned, for sure, at least with their help and DARPA) - if you are new to this, for some more reasoned analysis (I get sick sometimes of pointing out the obvious or spending time writing about it in detail to people who really should be figuring out this stuff for themselves), you could try Afghan MPs Predict "Very Big War" and just read around that site for more, or perhaps a Canadian called Yves Engler who never manages to make it into the Canadian mainstream media for some reason, who is watching the actions of the Canadian gov and military in a place called Haiti, that the CMCM doesn't want you thinking about much, for instance Responsibility to protect, which gives a somewhat different perspective of the Canadian gov perspective on 'helping them poor downtrodden masses' etc (Yves is actually somewhat more likely to find himself in jail for trying to talk about these things - Canada takes a dim view of 'free speech' about certain things when they want you to think a certain way - you can get away with quite a bit on the net, but somewhat less in public.) [[here's a couple of links I pilfered from a discussion on The Tyee.com following a story called Afghanistan: Wrong Mission for Canada - other stuff you won't find in the mainstream media - Various from policy alternatives.ca; From Project Ploughshares, Afghanistan: From good intentions to sustainable solutions by Ernie Regehr; or check out The Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade.]]
In the box: So everyone prefaces their unhappiness with the murder with some form of 'sure, he was a horrible monster but...' - but why not look a bit deeper? Remember, for instance, that one of the few things we actually do know for sure is that the mainstream media lies a lot, and their lies are most deep when they really want to demonize someone, as they've been doing with Hussein for lo these 15+ years - does anyone in mainstreamland know anymore that for 20 years prior to 1991 or so, Hussein was a great friend to the US, one of their good buds - they actually supplied him with most of the weapons he used to 'kill his own people' (and at least a lot of that killing was done with the knowledge and approval and even at the instigation of the US - you can start your history search here - Justice not served but denied - if you want a bit more info - all of which was why, of course, the 'trial' was the farce it was - the very last thing the Americans could afford was for Hussein to be allowed to talk about the actual history of their relationship).
But that is not really why I write. Something I haven't seen any of the pious politically correct protesters talk about is how what Hussein was doing appears to have been little different than what most gangs get up to as they assume power - removing the opposition. This naturally involves killing some people, which certainly isn't nice for those getting killed, but is equally certainly nothing unusual in the history of the world - including the US. It is quite a different process than wantonly running around shooting and torturing at random, which is the impression the MSM likes to try to create, a true monster. But the US is about one of the last entities that ought to be talking about this kind of thing (the reason, I suppose, they try to avoid any details as much as possible) - from day one, the US gov was involved in murdering great numbers of people to consolidate its power - the genocide of the original inhabitants of North America being the first in a long line of mass killings to get and keep power. How many Africans did they kill a bit after that, in order to establish their power to make and keep slaves of 'lesser' races? What was the US Civil War, if not a turf war between two groups who wanted power in the country - and how many tens of thousands of civilians were brutally murdered during that little escapade, by both sides? One could go on and on through US history, as never has there been a time they weren't engaged in some form of murdering others for their own power - arriving eventually at Iraq, I suppose, where the US has now killed god alone knows how many civilians over the last 15+ years, but think big numbers with 7 digits and no decimals - there's that famous interview with Clinton's SecState Madeline Albright where she says that the killing of at least half a million Iraqi civilians was worth it, and the Lancet report of last fall indicates that probably well over another half-million Iraqis have been killed just since this most recent invasion.
It's just really unbelievable to see all the US gov and media people pretending to be so upset at the terrible Hussein killing 150 or so people, after their past and current history of killing of millions and millions, often for exactly the same reasons Hussein had these people killed. And even more unbelievable that so many people seem to go along with it with no protest at the lies and hypocricy.
It's a pretty strong indication of the totality of the brainwashing of the average American, and Canadian, that nobody out there (beyond a handful on the net, of course) appears to be bothered much by this - or making any noises at all about war crimes and war criminals in the US gov needing to be brought to justice for these horrific deaths, hundreds of thousands of them, all unnecessary, all caused by the US playing turf war games with other people's lives exactly the same as Hussein was playing turf war games with his rivals on a smaller stage - yet they seem to applaud the execution/murder of Hussein for doing the same thing, albeit in a very much smaller way, all inflated garbage in the MSM aside. Also, none of the reports I read of the Hussein 'trial' (kangaroo court of the worst sort, in reality, of course, fixed from day one) actually tried to make the 'case' that Hussein did the killings himself, he just ordered them. So by precisely the same logic, one G Bush is responsible for the deaths of some half million Iraqi civilians (and his daddy for a lot more, and Clinton would have to be in the dock as well for the deaths caused by the 'sanctions' etc) - pretty much every US president, I expect, and most British PMs, and you could probably round up most Canadians as accessories of one sort or another.
But these things would only be an issue in a world where 'the truth' had any presence which, of course, outside of Green Island, it does not, any longer.
Dec 28 Toronto "Propaganda 'R' Us" Star
In the box: - - NEWSMAKER OF THE YEAR - 'Canadian Soldier' most notable of 2006
Out of the box: - well, one might beg to differ. Mightily. As always, the Canadian Corporate Propaganda Media, employing propaganda tricks - this time, of course, the old favorite "Misdirection" scam - Look here, son!! Look here!! - when actually, you should be looking pretty much anywhere but where the con artist is telling you to look - you all know the old card tricks, shell game stuff, etc. And in this case, it's actually quite clever - we have to look at the story - and then, as another old saying has it, the best place to hide something is right in plain sight - and of course, the REAL story this year (and for many years in the past, really) is the Canadian Propaganda Gatekeeping Media themselves!!!!! - but of course, if they TOLD you that, then the game would be up, so they aren't too anxious to get into that particular discussion. Here on Green Island, of course, one of the things we want is educated, intelligent citizens, so we are careful to be sure they question things like this.
The Star, and the rest of the CCPM, have been hyping the Canadian participation in the American invasion of the mideast vAfghanistan pretty much since its inception, with nothing more than the merest words of protest (or truth) allowed about the whole thing, rah-rah 'support our troops' jingoism day after day. Most people are pretty disinclined to say anything bad about the Canadian military itself, given the memories of its role in WWII especially, and its reasonably honorable role as part of the world's peacekeeping force the last bunch of years, but they aren't too happy either about joining the Americans in their militaristic boot-in-the-face approach to world politics the last bunch of years. So they do an end run around the second of those feelings by appealing strongly and repeatedly to the first. And a lot of people, it seems, are going along with this ploy. Which is exactly, of course, the role of the media, in a 'modern' corporate pseudo-democracy such as Canada. A barrage of propaganda, a dearth of debate.
Dec 29 - Captain Capitalism
In the box: - - Captain Capitalism - a bit old, but I just found it, and thought I ought to respond quickly -
Out of the box: - Just call me SocialistMan, fearlessly challenging evil Capitalism wherever it raises its lying, thieving head.
Capitalism isn't an economic 'system' any more than totalitarianism or 'kings 'n' peasants' are. Capitalism is simply a big scam, a big propaganda system, designed to keep the people of whatever area calls itself 'capitalist' working away producing as much as they can, with the elite 'capitalists' skimming off as much of the 'fruits of the labor' of the people, to use a pretty accurate Marxian term, as possible. If the capitalists are a bit smart, as they learned to be through necessity after various popular and very bloody revolutions through the last few centuries quite painfully and bloodily deposed various of their antecedents who called themselves different things but believed in the same sort of system whereby most people worked to produce wealth and the elite skimmed (i.e. stole) as much of that wealth as they could get away with, they allow the people who produce the wealth to keep enough of it to make them believe they are a bit happy consuming the largely worthless consumables they produce, and combine that with massive amounts of propaganda through the elite/capitalist-controlled media to convince them that what they are living in is the best of all possible worlds - when this media control is combined with control of the government and education system (as it is in most of the modern western capitalist world), the whole 'many work few skim' system, under its present guise of 'capitalism', functions very well, as we see in America and other 'capitalist' countries. At least, it functions well for the elite who do the skimming - I think you paint a far, far rosier picture about how happy and content people are in, for instance, America, the center of modern capitalism, than reality actually suggests - it's the endless propaganda emanating from the capitalist media that suggests this very untrue state of affairs. Just one for instance of a long list I could easily assemble, poll after poll after poll shows that most of your countrymen/women would vastly prefer a single-payer state-operated health care system (such as every other modern western country has) to the hodge-podge of HMOs etc you have now, as a great majority of your families are either under-insured medically or have no insurance at all, and most are only a serious medical illness away from bankruptcy - unpayable medical bills are one of, if not the, greatest cause of bankruptcy in your capitalist haven. Oh happy citizens!! (point being, if you are missing it, that such people are not really very happy, with that kind of axe hanging over their heads - they might put on a happy face at the mall, but you know it's a mask... Or yes, people are happy enough to have computers and the internet - but they would be a whole hell of a lot happier if they had a lot less stress in their lives - stress caused by the capitalists skimming so much of the wealth they produce that they are forced to live on a treadmill that seems to be spinning faster every day, running faster and faster just to stay in one place.)
You credit 'capitalists' with producing this great wealth that much of the modern world enjoys - in truth, as you seem to vaguely recognize, it is the people who produce the wealth - the capitalists are simply stealing as much of it as they can, and justifying this theft through progaganda and scam games.
You are mistaking systems of 'economics' with systems of 'ruling the masses' here, which is a common problem, but encouraged by the rulers for obvious reasons - it is quite enlightening, in a framing sort of way, that when some of the original thinkers were dissecting this stuff and writing about it, the whole thing was called 'political economics', but has now been separated, to make linkages more difficult, one must assume. Evidently the capitalists didn't care to encourage people to think about such things together (actually, capitalists prefer the average people to think as little as possible, as we see everywhere - thinking leads to looking under slimy rocks (curious people, that is to say people who think, like to look everywhere), and that's where capitalists hide when the lights are turned off and they return to their true homes). (If you need that metaphor opened up a bit, think about the people who make drugs illegal and then make billions from selling them, and billions from running police forces and jails to chase them, and related things such as prostitution and the mafia - don't go shouting out 'the government does this!!!!' - the capitalists own the government (their first great act of 'privatisation'), and thus are responsible for all of this; this pointing out of an unpleasant truth will probably draw great indignation and denial, but think about the source of many modern 'respectable' capitalists' fortunes; or think, then, of the arms industries and wars and the huge amount of death and suffering caused by such things - it's pretty hard to deny that Boeing is not a great capitalist?? - or think about your current great capitalist-loving president, and his grandfather Preston, and various others such as Henry Ford who fully supported Hitler during the 30s and even into the WWII - fascism itself was the brainchild of Mussolini, as you must know, and means simply the marriage of Big Business and the State - and do you want to tell me that Big Business isn't Capitalism in the office towers and the modern US isn't a union of corporation and state, fascism incarnate, and not in any way a pretty sight to behold when held up to the bright light of day? - and etc. Wherever slimy things grow, you find people who want to rule over others and force others to work so they can live lives of ease, and the modern version of those who succeed in these dreams are the ones called Capitalists. Yes they have been wildly successful in the modern age, and control the propaganda machinery very effectively to make many people such as yourself and those who are yelling 'rah rah!!' on this discussion pretend to believe they live in a great happy free society - but as the old saying goes, to paraphrase, put some pretty face paint on a capitalist and call him Beauty if you want - but you still have a slug underneath.
Well, I could go on at length, but we both know you're not going to change your tune as Captain Capitalist. I just wanted to let you know that some of us - a growing number, actually, thanks to the de-indoctrination enabled by the internet - are able to see through what you are doing. If you actually want to try to debate these things, I'd be more than happy to accomodate you - I've been looking for someone to talk about these things for awhile, but nobody wants to, for some reason. Or if you just want some more explanation of how your 'road more travelled' has been a deceptive and false path and my words have helped your 'Saulian epiphany' - I'm open to helping you find your way back to the true path of social democracy.
Dec 27 Toronto Star
In the box: - - Girl wasn't buckled up in crash: OPP - "...Two young girls were thrown from their SUV in an early-morning Etobicoke collision, leaving police wondering what it will take for drivers to buckle up...."
Out of the box: - propaganda again, something that seems quite important to the rulers, this seatbelt stuff. I really think there's a psychological thing going on here, the symbolism of being strapped in to the vehicle against your will, with cops running around immediately in your face if you dare to disobey the masters - symbolically submitting to the entire "DO AS YOU ARE TOLD, CITIZEN, AND ALL VILL BE VELL!!" or something like that. I know, I know, you think I'M the psycho for thinking that. Time will tell. But they really seem to be irrational to me with this, and many others things - the end does not justify the means, I am thinking (actually, that works on a couple of levels - for the rulers, the end (compliant citizens) certainly does justify the means (symbolic strapping in your 'freedom' vehicle) - but the idea that this makes people safer, which is justifiable as an 'end', does not, if you actually think about this and look at stats, justify all the cops and chasing down of people and courts etc that they devote to this seatbelt stuff - there would be far, far, far better ways of achieving this end - if 'saving people' really was 'the end'). And they certainly lie with their stats a great deal in pursuit of their goals. If they were really neutral about all of this in any way, in a "here, citizen, we are your government, and here are some facts for you to look at as you consider whether or not to support this proposal" - they would do a real analysis, rather than the junk 'science' stuff they throw around to support their desired policy - that is, why don't we see some fairly straightforward numbers to look at - you know, number of driver/passenger miles driven in Canada, number of accidents, number of injuries and deaths, people with or without seatbelts, and various other related important factors about the accident (general situation - did the driver drive his/her car off a 1,000 foot cliff, or run a stop sign, age and sex of driver, weather and road conditions, etc and etc) - allowing the reader to come to some useful conclusions him/herself. I can tell you why they don't do that - because it would indicate that the usefulness of seatbelts is a whole lot less than they make it out to be, because of the way they manipulate the stats.
For instance (I have done this sort of thing - getting some of the figures is difficult, but it can be done - these numbers are from a few years back, but there is nothing I have seen or read to make me think they don't still generally apply) - did you know that the average driver/passenger miles per accident is about 75,000 (I'm pretty sure it's miles not km, if it's km the difference won't be particularly meaningfull for this analysis), the average injury accident is about 300,000 miles, and the average death about 3,000,000 miles. Ballpark figures, but think about how far you drive each year, and what the odds are of you getting in an accident. And then add a layer of thinking - averages aren't always that useful when you're mixing up apples and oranges - it is also a fact that the by far highest number of accidents, serious and otherwise, is the result of males under the age of 25 doing some idiotic thing (I speak from experience here, too, believe me, I have not forgotten those exciting but stupid days) - so if you are not in that particular category, and are a fairly sane sort of driver, the odds of your being in an accident get waaaaaay lower than if you use the 'average' figures. So low, in fact, that they are in the same range of probability as winning a lottery of some sort.
Have you ever heard any of that stuff from the gov? Not actually - from the way they talk, you would think that every time you get in your car, it's like 50-50 you're going to be in an accident, and if you don't have that wonderful seatbelt on you're gonna get hurt or killed you freaking idiot!!!!! - propaganda, brainwashing, indoctrination, call it what you want. But don't tarnish the words 'democracy' or 'freedom' by including them in anything you say.
And it's all bullshit, of course. But BY GOD YOU VILL DO AS YOU ARE TOLD, CITIZEN!!!!
That's really all it's all about - the sheep dogs make the rules, and the sheep run around where and how they are told.
And note also - the media, pretending to be a neutral provider of 'news' is, as always, central in the propaganda function - this is really a minor story, another small accident of which there are thousands every day, nobody killed - but let's get that big headline right up there in a prominent place, reminding people that the rulers, (and their media), demand this seatbelt compliance of the citizens - and hand in hand with the cops, not a word about dangerous driving etc. I mean the headline mentions 'not wearing seatbelt' - why doesn't the headline read 'driving too fast for conditions - why aren't we testing drivers properly?' or something? Or 'driving above competence level - we need to take steps to make sure drivers know what the hell they are doing before we allow them to go barrelling around our highways with several-ton chunks of metal which are lethal weapons' ?? - but no, instead of protecting me from these a**holes who don't know how to drive safely and are skidding all over the road when there's a bit of snow or running stopsigns or passing where they shouldn't etc, the cops are chasing ME around for not wearing a seatbelt - and I'm (now haha) one of the safest drivers you're going to see out there.
(And I won't even start on the 'democratic' aspects of the whole thing - were YOU ever asked to vote for a politician who promised to force you to wear a seatbelt??? I sure as hell wasn't ......)
And note how they talk about the driver of the vehicle which was in the accident - ...The driver of the SUV was accelerating onto the highway, "driving too fast" for the snowy conditions, Woolley said.... - ????????? Not even a verbal slap on the wrist!!!! - just a brief 'statement of fact' as it were. Strange, that seems to me - the accident was caused by this guy driving carelessly or dangerously, but we'll just overlook that, and make a big issue of how his kids weren't weaing seatbelts - which wouldn't have been a problem if he hadn't been driving like an idiot...
I'm just so out of touch with everything these days. Me, now, I have no liking for pain, don't want to die, enjoy life - I dislike seatbelts and choose not to wear them (it is actually one reason I prefer to live in places where the cops aren't chasing me all over the place for not wearing that thing) - I figure the best way to stay alive etc is to drive defensively and safely, and not get into accidents in the first place - and I figure if the cops and lawmakers just concentrated on that, that we'd all be a lot safer - I wouldn't object at all to an 'educational program' (haha otherwise known as propaganda) about how terrible these people are who insisted on speeding everywhere, and running stop signs, and passing where they shouldn't be passing, and not slowing down in bad weather, and various other really dangerous driving things - but no, no - our 'serve and protect' guys seem to figure they'll put up with idiot drivers like this person who was driving too fast for the conditions, but lay on the guilt for them kids not wearing seatbelts, or you or anyone else.
Crazy, man, just crazy.
- and the same idea here - Police forces eye 'name and shame' tactic for drunk drivers - so if I happen to go through a roadblock after a couple beers with some friends, and 'fail' the breathalyser, they'll try to 'shame' me by accusing me of being some sort of 'drunk' (which I wasn't at all, not driving dangerously or anything) - but the idiot above, who is obviously incapable of driving safely but the cops don't seem to care about that, can drive too fast and have an accident, and cause his kids to be injured - and nothing.
Doesn't anybody out there besides me see what they're doing?!?!?!?!?!
Dec 26 'The Star'
In the box: - - Surviving mom ready to forgive
Out of the box: - Editor - the picture on the front page of the internet version of your paper today, Dec 26, of the mother and her daughter holding a picture of their family killed in Pennsylvnia, is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen featured in a 'mainstream' Canadian paper. This is the stuff of the crappiest tabloids. You are supposed to be above this kind of thing. The mourning of these poor people should be private, and you are showing the crassest sensationalism to feature this picture this way. Merry frigging xmas to all of you - and may someone come and hold your face up for the world to stare at in crass, stupid curiosity during your saddest moments - you deserve it for helping to create the kind of society that engages in this sort of thing for lack of a real life.
And if you're still feeling insomniac, there's more here