Archive for spin

CNN lies, distorts, while its own polls tell the truth: Bernie won the debate

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2015 by jtoddring

CNN’s own polls show Bernie Sanders won the Democratic presidential debate last night, Tuesday, October 13, 2015, hands down. When CNN polled, and asked “Who won the debate?” 83% of people said Bernie Sanders. 83%. Yet, CNN headlines are splashing the big, bold message, Hillary wins debate by landslide. Can the media be any more Orwellian – and blatant about it? Better said, and more to the point, can they be any more disgusting?

Not only is CNN completely distorting, misrepresenting, and flatly lying about the public response to the debate, proclaiming, utterly deceitfully, that Hillary won – when their own polls show the opposite is undeniably true; but they are shamelessly and blatantly slathering support on Hillary, in an open demonstration of extreme bias. The corporate spin in favor of the (Democratic) candidate for corporate America could not be more stark, or more brazenly obvious.

This is why, by the way, CNN has been hemorrhaging viewers, along with the rest of the corporate media – because more and more people see through the propaganda, spin and distortion, and are sick of it.

By the way, C-SPAN also reports that its own polls indicate Bernie won the debate by a landslide.

So it is clear: Bernie has a tremendous and rapidly growing support from the people – far more so than Hillary, who is widely viewed with suspicion, and deep skepticism, and as a Wall Street hack – which, of course, she is; but the corporate media, surprise surprise, don’t support the populist candidate who has declared a war on Wall Street, and the billionaire class who have taken over the political process (as well as 90% of the US media). The network media supports the candidate most favored by big business and corporate America, the candidate who is awash in corporate political “donations”, Hillary Clinton.

None of this should be surprising, but the popular support which is confirmed, and unequivocally confirmed by the public response to last nights debate, for Bernie Sanders, is heartening, and hopeful; while the pathetic display of manipulation, spin, and sheer corruption of the media, is dismal indeed, and in fact, deeply sickening.

The Republican candidates are fringe candidates, frankly, and it is hard to deny – they are lunatics from the extreme right wing of (corporate-driven) American politics. And they have only a slim support among the people. On the Democratic side, three of the candidates have now destroyed their chances of winning after last night’s debate, leaving only Hillary and Bernie, effectively, in the running.

83% of Americans feel strongly about the need to get big money out of politics. It is the single hottest issue in the country. And that includes an overwhelming majority of both Republicans and Democrats who feel this way. Bernie’s central message, and his central campaign platform, is to reign in Wall Street, break up the “too big to fail” banks, which the great majority of the American peole also support, and get big money out of politics. So Bernie is resonating with the American people in a deep and broad, powerful way – and with people from across the political spectrum, including liberals, conservatives and progressives. Meanwhile, Hillary is widely viewed as just another politician: a poser, a mouth piece, a shill, a PR machine with a hair-do – not all that dissimilar to Donald Trump (another hawkish war-monger and cheerleader for the agenda of corporate America the billionaire class), but more polished, and with a better hair stylist and PR handlers.

“We have seen a rapid movement in this country toward oligarchy, toward a government owned and controlled by a handful of extremely wealthy families. We need public funding of elections [as Norway has, for example], which will enable any candidate to run for office without being beholden to powerful special interests.” – Bernie Sanders

Hillary has picked up a good deal of Bernie’s talking points, and is now trying to paint herself as a progressive, but the polls show that people remain sceptical about her – and rightly so. Hillary is awash in corporate money. Any talk she makes about getting big money out of politics would be supremely hypocritical and hollow, and everyone knows it. As the Christian Science Monitor said, prior to the debate, all the candidates have something to prove. Hillary had to prove she has integrity and honesty, Bernie, that he is electable. Well, the polls showed clearly, after the debate, that Bernie is definitely electable, with 83% of CNN poll respondants saying Bernie won the debate. Hillary, on the other hand, blurted out in the midst of the debate, “I represented Wall Street”. Her credibility and integrity in the eyes of the people remain shaky at best, and more likely dwindling.

As I say, Bernie’s message of getting big money out of politics is resonating with the people across the nation, while Hillary’s trustworthiness is seen as questionable at best. This is why Bernie’s support has soared, from him being virtually unknown across the US just six months ago, to leading Hillary in key primary state polls of Iowa and New Hampshire, to clearly winning the Democratic debate by a landslide, according to CNN and C-SPAN polls, while Hillary loses ground the more she opens her mouth, and the more the people get to know who Bernie Sanders is.

The tide is turning. I would say, in fact, that it has already turned. The first true populist President of the United States in a very long time, the first true President for the people, and not for Wall Street and the super-rich, in a very long time, is about to arrive. His name is Bernie Sanders.

Go Bernie. The groundswell of popular support will not be stopped, no matter how hard the corporate media tries to kill it.

J. Todd Ring,
October 14, 2015

Update, October 22, 2015: CNN has now deleted its own poll from its website

Who actually won last night’s debate? It’s difficult to tell because for every poll you see showing Bernie had a massive win, you have a headline on a newspapers saying Hillary won.

Did Media Declaring Hillary Won Debate Influence Polls?

What Bernie Sanders ‘Won’ in the Debate:

The news media consensus is that Clinton came out on top. Here’s why she didn’t.

Conservatives swing further to the far right – other major parties are little better

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2015 by jtoddring

The Conservative party of Canada is clearly playing into fear, xenophobia and racism as a way to win votes, as its “War on Terror” narrative, its racial baiting and its new snitch line show. This is sickening.

Mind you, the Liberals and NDP have eerily similar agendas to the Conservatives on key issues of the environment, the economy, trade and democracy. They may smell better, and look better on the surface, but scratch the surface on either of them, and you find a clear submission to anti-democratic, neoliberal, and neo-feudal, corporate rule.

On the environment, as David Suzuki has said, only the Green party has any seriousness about it. And for that reason alone, given that the crisis is so urgent and action on it so critical, the three major parties can in no way be supported. All three major parties are committed to pipelines, tar sands, big oil, a resource extraction-based economy, throwing us back a hundred years or more, to our former status of hewers of wood and drawers of water, and a surrender to the interests of an international corporate elite – with the results being, among other terrible consequences, that any one of the three major parties would spell ecological disaster for Canada and the world.

In terms of the economy and trade, all three major parties are now firmly neoliberal, pro-corporate and pro “free trade.” The Liberals openly support CETA, the corporate rights deal that is being pushed through with Europe; and the NDP has been decisively evasive, ambiguous and wishy-washy on the issue. Only the Green party has taken a stance against this disastrous, NAFTA-style free trade agreement, which would give corporations the right to sue the Canadian parliament, thereby over-riding, and effectively nullifying and destroying Canadian democracy.

Neoliberal policies of free trade have been economically disastrous, (see Naomi Klein’s, Shock Doctrine) benefiting only the rich few and the big corporations, while harming the other 99% of the people; and worse, they have been disastrous for the environment, for social programs, and most importantly, for sovereignty and democracy. NAFTA, CETA, FIPA and the TPP are all neoliberal corporate rights agreements, which put the interests of the large corporations over the people, the planet, and even above democracy. These corporate rights deals must be opposed, and defeated. This is absolutely critical.

Because all three major parties are either in open support of CETA, or in the case of the NDP, are decisively sitting on the fence, none of them can in any way be supported, since CETA would effectively mean economic, ecological and social disaster for Canada, as well as the destruction of Canadian democracy.

So yes, the Conservatives are acting more and more like Republican extremists, and can in no way be supported – but neither can the Liberals or the New Democrats.

Voting for the lesser of evils means voting for evil. We cannot continue to do that any longer.

The Liberals may have marginally better policies than the Conservatives, and the NDP marginally better policies than the Liberals, but all three are in lock-step agreement in terms of the core and key policies: in support of big oil, neoliberalism, austerity and free trade. The rest is simply window dressing – PR to hide the ugly facts.

The NDP may be slightly preferable to the Liberals in terms of policies, but only slightly; and in another way, they are worse, in that they pretend to be social democrats with a real alternative. They are not, and they have none. The NDP is now a neoliberal party of the right, in drag as left of centre democratic socialists.

The Liberals, meanwhile, may be slightly less offensive than the Conservatives, in terms of promised policies at least, but they too have slid far to the right, and are now right wing conservatives, in reality, in drag as centrist Liberals.

The Conservatives have gone the furthest to the right, and are now veering into the realm of US Republicans – all the while, presenting themselves as moderate centrists, if not liberals.

The whole charade is a sordid mess of empty posturing, PR and spin, and a thin veneer masks the underlying reality: that all three parties are now in complete submission to the corporate powers.

Once again, from every indicator, we now have to conclude that we have three neoliberal, pro-corporate, pro big oil, pro free-trade parties in Canada. And that is a tremendous tragedy, and a disgrace. What has happened to our critical intelligence that Canadians are clearly willing to settle for so little? More to the point, what has happened to our courage?

“Oh, Canada, our blah and weenie land…. True servility, until the promised land…..”

The major parties have lost their courage, or their integrity, or both. But that is not the central problem in Canada. The central problem is that the Canadian people do not demand more, and better.

All three major parties in Canada, the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP, are now parading themselves as the party for the middle class. Well here’s a news flash – the middle class are being wiped out by the very same policies the big three parties are committed to. The middle class in Canada, as in the US, Europe and around the world, are being wiped out by an ideological program of corporate globalization, or what is known as neoliberalism, with the offshoring of production and profits, de-industrialization, deregulation, privatization, austerity policies for the many, and tax breaks and subsidies for the corporations and the richest few, and above all, by “free trade” deals – which are in reality corporate rightsagreements – deals such as NAFTA, CETA, FIPA and the TPP. And all three major Canadian parties support these disastrous, pro-corporate, neoliberal policies and “trade” deals. The entire charade, as I say, is completely disingenuous, and utterly deceitful. And Canadians are falling for it – hook, line and sinker.

The free trade deals in particular, which are supported by all three parties, will guarantee that the middle class continues to be eviscerated and driven into the growing underclass. We would be extremely foolish and naive to think otherwise.

The working class and poor, of course, will fare even worse. Generally speaking, and with few exceptions, the only ones who will benefit – other than by being thrown a few token crumbs from the table of corporate feasting and engorgement – are the richest 1%. This is who the big three serve now. The rest is hollow pretense, and an extremely dishonest and empty posturing, for the sake of getting elected.

All three major parties in Canada, at different times in the past, had integrity. Not any longer. They have surrendered to the powers of big money and big corporations, and are actively ceding the powers of parliament, and democracy, as well as selling out the country, to what the leading business journal of the Western world, the Financial Times, calls, the “de facto world government” of neo-feudal, global corporate rule.

Other countries have begun to reject the neoliberal, “free trade” policies which haves become the staple of the global corporate agenda, and which are being pushed forward by Wall Street, the IMF, the big banks, the ECB, WEF and WTO, along with Bay Street, the big oil companies, and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives – the CEOs of the biggest 200 corporations in Canada, and the group which runs this country.

But Canada is foolishly continuing to follow the lead of Washington and London, the US and UK: two of the countries which are facing economic implosion and fiscal insolvency – as well as the death of the middle class, with soaring poverty and inequality, the rise of insecure, underpaid “McJobs”, and a dismantling of the manufacturing base, as all production is shifted to China and other low-wage nations, in the short-sighted rush for higher short-term corporate profits – as a direct result of precisely these Friedmanite, corporate-led policies of “The Washington Consensus,” which have laid waste to the economies as well as the people of the United States and Britain, along with much of the world.

In the US, we now see a rapidly growing groundswell of popular support for the one presidential candidate who has rejected the neoliberal agenda which has been shaped by the large corporations and the billionaire class: and that is Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders actually has a bold and intelligent vision for rebuilding a nation in economic tatters, reclaiming democracy, and setting a course for peace and prosperity for all.

Meanwhile, in Canada, we have the politics of The Great Yawn, and politics as usual, as the country and the people are eaten alive by a rapacious and insatiable global investor class.

Before we see any hopes for a better future for the people of Canada, Canadians will have to become considerably bolder, as well as more imaginative, and above all, we must face the fact that there has been a corporate take-over in Canada, as in the US, Europe and around the world, and rise to the challenge to defend and reclaim our democracy.

Rolling over and playing dead is simply not an intelligent, nor a moral option. Nor is voting for any of the big three political parties, which is effectively the same thing, and an act of self-neutering, or self-castration.

J. Todd Ring,

October 5, 2015

J. Todd Ring is the author of Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium

See also:

Free Trade, CETA, TPP, and the US and Canadian Federal Elections – J. Todd Ring

https://jtoddring.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/free-trade-ceta-tpp-and-the-us-and-canadian-federal-elections-some-critical-perspective/

The Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

Neoliberalism: Profits Without People – Noam Chomsky

A Game As Old As Empire – John Perkins

Global Showdown – Maude Barlow

The Great Turning – David C. Korten

The Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies – Richard Heinberg

A Brief History of Progress – Ronald Wright

Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed – Jared Diamond

Here is an excellent, and devastating critique of the NDP – from the left. (Although, the article, while excellent on analysis, is short on strategies, vision or answers.)

The NDP and the Election – Canadian Dimension

https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-ndp-and-the-election

Picking apart one of the greatest lies in American politics: “Free Trade” – Thom Hartmann, Alternet

http://www.alternet.org/economy/picking-apart-one-biggest-lies-american-politics-free-trade

Here is an excellent analysis of the three major political parties in Canada, by Toronto Star journalist Thomas Walkom, PhD in Economics from University of Toronto. (In a nutshell, they are all shills.)

Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau Offer Little On Economy

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/08/04/stephen-harper-tom-mulcair-and-justin-trudeau-offer-little-on-economy-walkom.html

And one more brilliantly clear-headed analysis of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals:

With Justin Trudeau, Canada Now Has Two Conservative Parties, by Will Dubitsky

http://commonsensecanadian.ca/with-justin-trudeau-canada-now-has-two-conservative-parties/

And another excellent article by Walkom, on the gleeful embrace of the failed policies of neoliberalism and “free trade” by the three major Canadian political parties:

Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair buy into free-trade theory that doesn’t work: Walkom

Other countries ditch free-trade orthodoxy to protect jobs. But not Canada.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/04/19/justin_trudeau_stephen_harper_thomas_mulcair_buy_into_freetrade_theory_that_doesnt_work_walkom.html

What do you get the corporation that has everything? CETA. – Council of Canadians

http://canadians.org/ceta

Liberal Party Statement by Justin Trudeau on CETA

http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEVrhbx8lVmXgAR9MPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByOHZyb21tBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–/RV=2/RE=1439315932/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.liberal.ca%2fstatement-liberal-party-canada-leader-justin-trudeau-ceta-2%2f/RK=0/RS=quEeYwXf8HagopNPlS7zn2QTnqs-

Fact Sheet: No More NAFTAs! No to CETA-TPP-FIPA-FTA… – Council of Canadians

http://canadians.org/publications/factsheet-no-more-naftas-no-ceta-tpp-fipa-fta%E2%80%A6

One Million To Stop The Corporate Death Star – Avaaz

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_corporate_death_star/

Danger and Delusion: From ISIS to Ebola

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2014 by jtoddring

There are very real dangers in the world, but let’s not lose all perspective. Perspective is everything. Don’t believe the hype.

It must be stated directly: the majority of people have wildly irrational, and frankly delusional modes of thinking when it comes to risk assessment. And of course, pre-formed, unreflective opinions, that is, prejudice and presumption, along with group-think and the mass media, have a great deal to do with it. The media hypes and promotes public fears, and perspective is lost as a result. But let’s step back for a moment, and look at a wider context, from a wider lens.

Public fears are often, if not generally, out of touch with reality, and out of sync with reality. For example, many people are terrified of wolves, bears, sharks and snakes, but extremely few people are killed by snakes, just thirty people are killed by sharks world-wide per year, only a handful of people are killed by bears per year globally, and virtually none by wolves. If you’re going to be afraid of going into the woods, or into the water, at least be rational about it. The real dangers are hypothermia and drowning, not wild beasties with big teeth.

Meanwhile, the most dangerous creatures on the planet are deer, bees, and human beings. Deer kill thousands of people per year – because we are foolishly addicted to the private automobile, and deer get hit by them and fly through the windshield. And thousands of people are killed by bees per year – not because of attacks, but because of allergies and anaphylactic shock.

Automobiles kill 40,000 people a year in the US alone, making getting into a car one of the most dangerous things we can do – but we don’t see a heroic, all-out push to move towards mass transit and cycling, and even the dangers of traffic accidents and automobile addiction must be pushed from consciousness by most people, most of the time. Denial and avoidance of reality are the real pandemics endangering human lives – and by now, all life on earth.

And if we insist on focusing on infectious diseases, we should at least face the facts: Ebola is not a serious threat in North America at present, and may never be, but anti-biotic resistant infectious diseases are an increasing health risk, for a number of reasons, and far exceed any danger posed by Ebola.

“Despite all the panic, Americans don’t face any great risk from Ebola right now. But we do need to worry about a home-grown medical catastrophe of our own that we’re failing to address: the erosion of antibiotic effectiveness.

Doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat a broad array of infections that can otherwise prove fatal. While the drugs are being grossly overused, diminishing their power to heal, hospitals aren’t to blame [although, they are quickly becoming the most dangerous place to be if you are sick or injured, since they are filled with antibiotic-resistant infectious germs] — factory farms are.”

– A Bigger Threat to US Health than Ebola, November 12, 2014, Nation of Change

If we are serious about health, we should ban factory farms now, immediately, and stop buying any meat or dairy products that are not free-range and organic. But of course, that requires action – so focusing on imaginary fears that we can do nothing about, is in some strange, neurotic way, more comfortable to the majority of people.

Far outstripping all other dangers, are the dangers posed by what human beings do to themselves and one another. Murder is still rare in most places, outside of war; but war kills hundreds of thousands of people per year – many times more than the terrorism it is often claimed to be fighting or preventing, and is in fact instead compounding and intensifying.

Over two million people were killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the result was exactly what any intelligent observer would have predicted, and exactly what US intelligence agencies did predict: mass bombings by the US have fuelled animosities and increased the level of terrorism. War is mass murder, and what’s more, we are all in greater danger because of it.

Compare the deaths from Ebola to the US wars in the Middle East. Ebola has killed a reported 14,000 people (and most of these deaths are unconfirmed as to their true cause). Meanwhile the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed over 2 million. We should be waging war on war, not panicking about a wildly hyped exotic disease that kills a tiny fraction of the number that die every year from the flu.

Worse even than war, is the death toll from poverty, with 20,000-30,000 children dying every day from hunger. Remember, the death toll from terrorism is 20,000 per year. The death toll, just in terms of children, from poverty and hunger, is over 20,000 per day. But we don’t see an all-out war on poverty, because that would not benefit the big oil companies and arms manufacturers who are driving the “war on terror.”

The death toll from poor diet and unhealthy lifestyles is likewise massive, with an estimated 300,000 people dying in the US every year from obesity alone. The leading cause of death in the world is cardiovascular disease. According to the World Health Organization there were approximately 17.5 million deaths from heart-related illnesses in 2012, amounting to 30% of the total death rate. Again, compare 14,000 deaths from Ebola, to 300,000 deaths every year from obesity – in just one single over-fed, undernourished nation – or more than 17 million people dying a year from heart disease world-wide. The panic over Ebola is so radically out of touch with reality, that it is hard to describe.

But, it is more profitable to sell “food-like substances” at high profits than to sell real food, and it is more profitable to manage disease than to provide real health care, so we must continue to deny and avoid reality, and to instead divert our attention to phantasy and paranoia and other distractions from the real world and the real dangers facing us.

Which is why unhealthy lifestyles and diets, which are killing millions of people a year, along with poverty and war which kill millions more, are realities which we seek constantly to avoid. And yet, our hidden anxieties must have some place, or way to be vented, and since reality is not an option for most people when it comes to dealing with anxiety and danger, we must focus on fabrications, fairy tales and exaggerated bogey men, which we know, secretly, are far safer to confront than our real, yet suppressed fears. It is a self-comforting response – not a rational way to deal with reasonably assessed, real dangers in the world.

Meanwhile, our race to destroy the very world we live on, must be acknowledged to be the number one danger to all human beings, and all living beings on the planet at this time, with truly nothing being even remotely comparable. But we live in a bubble of denial, and refuse to take that on – so the escapism and irrationality, and the fixation on straw men and distractions, must therefore continue.

In short, our priorities are shot, our risk assessment, and our general perception of reality, is shot, our society is run by sociopaths who care only about egotism and greed, and we are in great danger for these very reasons, above all others – and not due to some largely fictitious, or grossly inflated, and wildly exaggerated bogey man.

As to ISIS, there is no question that this is a band of thugs, who, regardless of how ruthless they may be, and are, are also miniscule in scale compared to the terrorism waged by Washington, which, again, has left two million dead since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began.

As Chomsky said, comparing petty thugs, such as ISIS, to Washington, is like comparing a small-time criminal to the Godfather. Let’s try to deal with the real world. We will be much safer when we decide to do that – if we are willing to do that.

Furthermore, the US military intervention and bombing of Iraq is what created the explosion of growth of A Queda in the first place, and what created the even more militant offshoot which is ISIS. So one the one hand, our risk assessment is completely shot through with delusion, since we should be far more concerned with the dangers posed by our own governments and the corporate elite that control them; and beyond that, our response to this wildly exaggerated assessment of the dangers of Al Queda, ISIS and Middle East extremists, are creating more danger than we originally had in the first place. This is what we might call, utterly insane, or at least, profoundly delusional.

The fact is, there was no al-Qaeda presence in Iraq before George W. Bush took — made the decision to invade it, except in the Kurdish region in the north of Iraq, which was not under Saddam Hussein’s control. In fact, it was under the control of U.S.-backed entities. And that was Ansar al-Islam. Saddam Hussein’s forces were fighting that group.

So, what am I saying here? What I’m saying is that the United States, through its policies, created the very threat that it claims to be fighting now, and in continuing this policy, what President Obama is doing is embracing the very lies that made the Cheney-Bush Iraq War possible. And in the process, he’s creating yet another generation of people in the Islamic world who are going to grow up in a society where they believe that their religion is being targeted, where they believe that the United States is a gratuitous enemy. And so, this is sort of an epic formula for blowback.”

  • Jeremy Scahill, Obama’s Orwellian War, Democracy Now!

To return to Ebola, it is hard to estimate accurately its true danger, because governments, health authorities and the media are systematically distorting information. But in all likelihood, judging from the historical context of disease and contagion, Ebola will remain a killer disease that ranks somewhere far below the common flu. Between 250,000 and 500,000 people die from the flu every year according to the World Health Organization (not, it should be noted, from influenza, but from flu-like infections for which flu vaccines are utterly useless) – mainly due to weakened immune systems. It is difficult to be certain at this point, but it is most likely that Ebola will not rise to this level of death toll of the common flu: at least, not any time in the foreseeable future.

So in terms of both ISIS and Ebola, the media, government and other social “authorities” are spinning a web of distortion, delusion and radical hyperbola, and are wildly overstating, as well as misrepresenting, the dangers. And with so much distortion, exaggeration and fear-mongering being paraded out systematically, we must ask ourselves: why?

*

All would-be God-kings, fascists, tyrants, emperors and power-mongers play the same cards, over and over again, and use the same tried and tested tactics and strategies to gain and maintain power: divide and conquer, alienate and subjugate; demoralize, demean and dispirit; deceive, misinform and lie; and above all, terrorize and instill fear.

The most central tactic of all power hungry elites, throughout history, including the present corporate elite and their political prostitutes, who, together, rule the world today, is to spread the message, far and wide, daily and incessantly, “Be afraid – be very afraid….”

(Just don’t be afraid about the real dangers. These things, we have to distract you from, by directing your fear and anger elsewhere, anywhere, other than where it should be directed.)

It’s a shell game folks. And it’s time for us to take a more realistic look at the world around us, and cut through the smoke screens, the propaganda, the lies, the distortions and the distractions.

As for Ebola, as with ISIS, and other dangers that are hyped and inflated, and paraded as if they were the second coming of Hitler, or the next thing to the apocalypse, the first rule is to question everything you hear. The second rule is to stay calm, and think things through for yourself. Turn off the mainstream media, do your own research, and think for yourself.

*

Government sources of information have proven themselves, time and time again, to be deeply unreliable, to say the least – and frequently, if not routinely, filled with lies, delusions, distortions and deceit. Mainstream media has proven itself, over and over again, to be deeply unreliable, at best, and more often, also filled with lies, half-truths, delusion and deceit. Even the so-called alternative media is generally hit and miss, and is riddled with confusion, illusion and errors, a great deal of the time, if not most of the time. In such a media environment, or media circus – or hall of mirrors, deception and mass bewilderment – we are forced to think for ourselves. And if we want the truth, the real story, we will have to dig for it. This short essay is a mere first look at the real situation facing us with regard to ISIS and Ebola. We should not stop here, but dig deeper, and keep asking questions. However, we can say this much.

First of all, don’t believe the hype. And remember this: a) even during the Black Plague, also known as the Black Death, or Bubonic Plague, which struck Europe in 1348, when one third of the populace died – two-thirds did not: in other words, it was an enormous tragedy, but not the end of humankind, by any stretch of the imagination; b) had poverty, poor sanitation and malnutrition not been widespread and pervasive, the death toll likely would have been just a fraction of that; c) even this level of pandemic, such as the Bubonic Plague or Black Death, is extraordinarily rare in human history; and d) there are reasons why Ebola, as terrifying as it may sound, is far less dangerous than the common flu – which, again, almost exclusively kills only those with highly weakened immune systems, and which, nonetheless, kills far more people every year than Ebola ever has, or is ever likely to do.

Why is Ebola, in all likelihood, far less of a threat than it is hyped to be, and many people imagine it to be? Because it has a short incubation period: so no matter how high its mortality rate, it is limited in its ability to spread due to its short incubation period. People get sick fast, show symptoms, and can be quarantined or avoided before they come into contact with a great many people. When a virus has a long incubation period, then a great many people can become infected with the virus, and spread it widely before showing any symptoms of being infected. Fortunately this is not the case with Ebola, which is why it’s pandemic risk is relatively low.

Of course, if this recent strain of Ebola has been weaponized by biowarfare labs – US or otherwise – then the contagion and pandemic risk is an unknown. Presently, the evidence is overwhelming that this strain of Ebola did in fact come from US bioweapons labs in West Africa, either intentionally or accidentally, but we do not yet know if it is a weaponized strain. Pray it is not, because if it is, it will be far more dangerous than the strains we have seen since 1976, when Ebola was first seen.

(Since 1976, when Ebola first appeared, there have been some 14,000 deaths from the disease, versus 250,000-500,000 a year from the flu. Presently, the flu is far more dangerous, but if this Ebola strain has been weaponized, then all bets are off. Let’s hope the ruling military-industrial-security complex has some small trace of remaining sanity, and has not gone this far. We could say the same for the risk of nuclear war, which is also a very real and present danger.)

In any event, we should not be afraid of infectious diseases to such an extent that it becomes paranoia or sheer irrationality. What is far more sensible is that we build up our natural immune strength, since this is the overwhelming factor in whether we get sick or stay healthy, or how well we can fight off an infection of any kind.

It is called germ/host theory in medical science for a reason, and it is the health of the host, the health of the individual and the individual’s immune system, and not the virulence of the germ, that is the primary indicator of the outcome.

It is our immune strength, and not the strength of the infectious disease, that is overwhelmingly the greatest factor in whether or not we get sick, and in how well we recover if we do. This is critical to understand for anyone who wants to live in the real world.

The flu, tuberculosis, poverty, hunger, unhealthy lifestyles and poor diets each kill far more people every year than Ebola ever has, or ever likely will. If we want to be healthy and well, then we should eat well, and stay calm; and not stuff our faces with largely toxic “food-like substances,” and then panic over a disease that is a hundred times less likely to kill us than our lifestyle, and what we put in our mouths. Again, eat well, boost your immune system naturally, and don’t believe the hype.

The people are possessed of a natural common sense. They must make better use of it, or bear the consequences of refusing to do so.

*

Deeper questions:

With all of the fear and distortion surrounding infectious diseases and terrorism, in both cases, something very fishy seems to be happening – and the indicators keep getting worse. Ebola as US-orchestrated bio-terrorism for purposes of global and domestic power politics? Anyone who has any understanding of real world power politics, or any understanding of history, would not be surprised. And now, US and African scholars and scientists are saying the evidence points overwhelmingly in this direction.

Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, College of Law, questions the Obama administration’s actions in West Africa:

US government agencies have a long history of carrying out allegedly defensive biological warfare research at labs in Liberia and Sierra Leone. This includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is now the point agency for managing the Ebola spill-over into the US,” Prof. Francis Boyle said.

Why has the Obama administration dispatched troops to Liberia when they have no training to provide medical treatment to dying Africans? How did Zaire/Ebola get to West Africa from about 3,500km away from where it was first identified in 1976?”

– U.S. is Responsible for the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Liberian Scientist, Timothy Alexander Guzman, Global Research, October 17, 2014

F. William Engdahl, a strategic risk consultant and lecturer who holds a degree in politics from Princeton University, and best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, has this to say:

For a Nobel Peace Prize President, Barack Obama seems destined to go down in history books as the President who presided over one of the most aggressive series of wars ever waged by a bellicose Washington Administration. Not even George Bush and Dick Cheney came close.

First, before the ink was even dry on his Nobel Prize certificate, Obama announced the Afghanistan “surge”, pouring another 30,000 US military into that destroyed part of the world. Then came Obama’s war against Libya’s Qaddafi, followed rapidly by his war to try to topple Syria’s Bashar al Assad. Soon after came Obama’s “war for democracy in Ukraine,” otherwise better called Obama’s attempt to provoke Russia into a new war confrontation with NATO by backing a gaggle of Ukrainian oligarchs, criminals and outright neo-nazis in Kiev. In July of this year, Obama’s Administration was pushing the President to launch a second try at bombing Syria back to the Stone Age, allegedly to destroy ISIS, a looney Jihadist Sunni sect that was said to be a joint venture of the CIA and Israeli intelligence.

Now Obama’s advisers, no doubt led by the blood-thirsty National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, have come up with a new war. This is the War Against Ebola. On September 16, President Obama solemnly declared the war. He announced, to the surprise of most sane citizens, that he had ordered 3,000 American troops, the so-called “boots on the ground” that the Pentagon refuses to agree to in Syria, to wage a war against….a virus?…..

The issue of oil in West Africa, notably in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea, have become increasingly strategic both to China, who is roaming the world in search of future secure oil import sources, and the United States, whose oil geo-politics was summed up in a quip by then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970’s: ‘If you control the oil, you control entire nations.’

The Obama Administration and Pentagon policy has continued that of George W. Bush, who in 2008 created the US military Africa Command or AFRICOM, to battle the rapidly-growing Chinese economic presence in Africa’s potential oil-rich countries. West Africa is a rapidly-emerging oil treasure, barely tapped to date. A US Department of Energy study projected that African oil production would rise 91 percent between 2002 and 2025, much from the region of the present Ebola alarm.

Chinese oil companies are all over Africa and increasingly active in West Africa, especially Angola, Sudan and Guinea, the latter in the epicenter of Obama’s new War on Ebola troop deployment.”

  • Obama’s “War on Ebola” or War For Oil? Sending 3,000 Troops to African “Ebola” Areas that Happen to Export Oil to China, October 2, 2014

And does anyone else find it strange that the U.S. Centre for Disease Control holds the patent on Ebola? First of all, it seems very strange that anyone would hold a patent on a disease – but the CDC itself? The evidence I have seen is preliminary, and I have only begun to dig into it; but surely this must make warning bells go off. And when we hear from an esteemed American professor of international law, professor Francis Boyle, whose specialization is in bio-warfare, that the CDC has been deeply involved in the Pentagon’s bio-warfare programs for decades, then the signs become all the more troubling.

Dr. Jason Kissner, Associate Professor of Criminology at California State University, states:

We can now be extraordinarily confident that the U.S. government is lying, in key material respects, about the latest Ebola outbreak—and not just because it lies about nearly everything of political consequence. This article shows that there are compelling reasons to believe we are being told three big lies about Ebola. It also offers a simple, rational, yet disturbing, explanation that very tidily accounts for all three lies. The explanation supposes that the current Ebola outbreak consists in an act of U.S.-linked bioterror.”

Professor Francis Boyle, the professor of international law who drafted the U.S. Law pertaining to the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972, makes it clear:

“What we are dealing with here is a biological warfare work that was conducted at the bio-warfare laboratories set up by the USA on the west coast of Africa. And if you look at a map produced by the Center of Disease Control you can see where these laboratories are located. And they are across the heart of Ebola epidemic, at the west coast of Africa….

I have absolute proof from a Pentagon document that the Center of Disease Control was doing bio-warfare work for the Pentagon in Sierra Leone, the heart of the outbreak, as early as 1988….”

In particular they [the public] must not believe anything they are being told by the WHO and CDC….

Back in 1985, I was down in Nicaragua investigating atrocities of the Contras there, and all of a sudden the country was hit with an outbreak of a hemorrhaging Dengue Fever, which is similar to Ebola. And it seemed pretty suspicious to me. So I met with some of the highest level officials of the Nicaraguan government and said: “You know, this very well could be US bio-warfare against Nicaragua. They did the same thing to Cuba. And my advice is you convene health care medical experts, not politicians, to look into this. And if you agree with me and that’s the result, file a complaint with the UN Security Council for violation of the Biological Weapons Convention against the USA”.

– Francis A. Boyle is a leading American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia – Herzegovina at the World Court. Professor Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign. He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University. He is also the author of “Biowarfare and Terrorism”. The book outlines how and why the United States government initiated, sustained and then dramatically expanded an illegal biological arms buildup.

(Cited in a recent article by Paul Craig Roberts, the former assistant secretary to the US Treasury and former editor of the Wall Street Journal, Is the US Government the Master Criminal of Our Time? October 20, 2014, Institute for Political Economy. Paul Craig Roberts is the author of How America Was Lost, and, The Failure of Laissez-Faire Capitalism.)

So yes, it would seem that there is something very fishy about the Ebola scare – even more so than with the earlier SARS scare and Swine Flu scare. And this is in addition to the fact that the hype and hysteria are wildly out of sync with any remotely rational human risk assessment, regardless of the origins of the outbreak, or any questions as to its relation to U.S. bioterrorism.

It could turn out that this particular strain of Ebola is in fact highly dangerous – all other questions surrounding it aside, and whether or not it originated in US bio-weapons labs in West Africa, as at least four different eminent US professors are now stating. But in any event, panic and hysteria are both useless and inappropriate, as well as utterly self-defeating. We need to stay calm, dig deep for the truth, question all supposed authorities, and everything we read or hear, and take care of our own family’s health through natural means and good nutrition.

As Professor Boyle has said, we know from their record that we cannot rely on the health authorities or governments for protection of public health – especially the WHO, the CDC and the US government. And the evidence seems irrefutable that the Canadian and British governments are partnered, unsurprisingly, with Washington, as they have been for a long time, and are likewise wholly unreliable.

More to come on this – stay tuned, and don’t fall for the media hysteria.

*

The War on Ebola, the War on Terrorism, and the War on Drugs: Parallels and Perspective

To place things into a wider context, we could say that the War on Drugs has been a huge success – for the ruling elite, that is; but it has not been sufficient in itself for elite purposes. What on earth am I talking about? The war on drugs has been a total failure by every measure, except in one regard: except in regards to the purpose it was meant to serve, which is the further consolidation and reinforcement of elite control over the domestic population.

The “war on drugs” has removed from the streets a large percentage of the superfluous and expendable population – and young black men in particular – who, in the wake of globalization and off-shoring of manufacturing, are no longer needed for either production or consumption, and has put them in prison, where they are not only contained, and prevented from becoming a force for revolt or revolution, but can also be used, and are currently being used, for low-cost, virtually free prison labour for corporate interests.

The war on drugs would have been abandoned years ago if it was intended to actually combat or reduce drug use, drug trafficking or drug-related crime, since it is, by all indications and all measures, a total failure in these regards, and worse, a case of monumental blowback, with the cure being worse than the illness. But it has not been cancelled, but instead, expanded, and that is because it is serving its intended purpose, which is to corral large segments of the population, and neutralize them. The war on drugs, however, is not sufficient in itself for such elite purposes of control over the domestic population. Other strategies were needed to be invoked along side it, such as the “War on Terror”.

The “War on Terror” has also been a great success – in the eyes of the elite who orchestrated it – but again, insufficient in itself to the primary task. The “war on terror” has been used to rationalize and justify imperial warfare abroad for the sake of control of resources, again for the sake of corporate interests; and has, more centrally, been used at home to create the pretext for the construction of a police state and a global surveillance network – again, for the sake of elite corporate interests, and for the purposes of securing elite power in the face of a growing crisis of legitimacy, rising popular discontent and outrage, and in order to avert the threat of popular revolt or the outbreak of authentic democracy.

But as we have said, neither the “War on Drugs” nor the “War on Terror” have proven to be sufficient to the task. And what is the task? It has two parts. One: maintain, secure and expand elite corporate interests and power on a global scale, through war, covert operations, state-sponsored crony capitalism and financial terrorism. And two, much more centrally: maintain, secure, expand and consolidate elite corporate interests and power at home, in the heartland of the global corporate empire, in the US, Canada and Europe, through the demolition of democracy, the neutralization of the superfluous population and all dissent, and the creation of a fascist architecture and a police state.

(See Noam Chomsky, Michel Chossudovsky, Gerald Celente, Chris Hedges, Paul Craig Roberts, Naomi Klein or Naomi Wolf, among others, if there is any doubt as to the accuracy of these statements and the veracity of the conclusions drawn here.)

And now we have the “War on Ebola,” and what appears to be yet another means of elite control over the population, through fear, manipulation, distraction, further pretexts for war and empire, and in addition, most likely, repressive, draconian measures at home and abroad.

What should we be worried about? Not Ebola, and not ISIS, and not any other bogey man paraded by the puppet media and the elite, in a fear-mongering campaign designed to distract, mislead and to manipulate the people. We should be worried about the rising tide of fascism, and the escalating war on democracy and freedom, the people and the earth – and the corporate and political elite who are behind it.

Summary and conclusion:

What can we conclude from this morass of msinformation, confusion, bewilderment, distortion and deceit that surrounds the current Ebola outbreak, if anything?

  1. We are forced to question every authority and everything we read or hear, since the misinformation, confusion and outright lies are so common as to be a pandemic in itself.
  2. We must think for ourselves and do our own research.
  3. We should try to put things into perspective, and keep them in perspective. War, poverty, unhealthy lifestyles and diets, and the poisoning and destruction of our environment, are by far the greatest dangers facing humankind at this time. Infectious diseases kill a tiny fraction of the people that war, poverty, environmental toxins and poor diets kill. And even in terms of infectious diseases, Ebola ranks as a tiny threat compared to the common flu, and in all likelihood, will remain so.
  4. To the extent that we should be somewhat concerned – not paranoid or irrational, but concerned to some degree – about Ebola or any other contagious disease, we should remember that vaccines, like antibiotics and pesticides, are rapidly nearing their end of usefulness and effectiveness. In fact, we are essentially at their end already. The reason is that bacteria, germs, insects and viruses mutate and evolve at a rate which is far faster than our ability to come up with new antibiotics, pesticides or vaccines. And beyond the fact that these weapons of defence, our arsenal of antibiotics, pesticides and vaccines, both present and future tense, are rapidly becoming useless, and are by now, in many cases, including Ebola, largely useless, they are also dangerous in themselves. Antibiotics weaken our immune systems and create super-germs. Pesticides poison our environment and our bodies, cause cancer and other diseases, create super-bugs and also radical food insecurity. And vaccines have frequently and repeatedly been shown to pose more dangers than the diseases they are intended to prevent. In the case of a rapidly mutating and evolving virus such as Ebola, the risk from vaccines is even higher, since vaccines have to be developed and deployed rapidly, and without adequate testing for safety. In short, vaccines are not the answer to viral outbreaks, and may in fact pose greater dangers than the viruses themselves. Natural methods for increasing our immune strength are now shown to be more effective, and that should reasonably be our first response – if, that is, we wish to be rational. Many, of course, do not.
  5. We should remember that it is called germ/host theory in medical science, and not germ theory. Mounting, and overwhelming evidence indicates that it is the strength of our immune system, and not the strength of the infectious disease, or any other form of disease, which determines if we get sick or not, and how well we will recover if we do get sick. Therefore, we should take good care of our health, eat healthy food, get lots of exercise and adequate rest, manage our stress levels, and take natural immune boosting foods, such as red algae, omega-3 essential oils, garlic, ginger, astragalus, echinacea, pro-biotics, etc.
  6. Governments – or, we should more accurately say, the ruling elites who control and manipulate and dominate current governments – have shown a clear record of using crises, whether they be real or manufactured, actual or fake, for their own advantage, and at the expense of the people. The greatest threat and the greatest danger posed by Ebola, as with ISIS and terrorism generally, is most likely not from this one exotic disease, or this or that fringe group of extremist fanatics, but from the government response to them. There is a very real danger of elites using the present crises, as they have done many times before, to further their own interests, and with great dangers and grave costs to the people. (See Naomi Klein’s, Shock Doctrine.)

But how can such levels of corruption exist, or be believed? Here is an example from the “leading” nation-state super-power on the planet, the now clearly sinking USA.

US politics explained: Wall Street rules, and the military-industrial-security complex forms the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, under the reign of the corporate oligarchy, which also controls the economy, the financial system, the Federal Reserve, the major media networks and conglomerates, and in fact, 90% of the media in the country, along with both major political parties, both Democrat and Republican. Anyone who still believes the US is a democracy is living in a dream world. A ruthless and sociopathic, criminal elite have taken over, and democracy, for the time being, is dead and buried in America.

But fear not. The truth will win out in the end. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The people will triumph in the end. The people are awakening, and a renaissance is emerging, and being born. We should do all we can to nourish it, and in the process, keep the vision of a better world alive, for it will be born, and is being born.

In the meantime, eat your vegetables, boost your immune system with natural methods, such as red algae and other natural immune boosters, work for positive social change and the healing of our world in whatever way you can, stay calm, and do your own research – and again, above all, don’t believe everything you read or hear, especially in the mainstream media.

As always, the price of democracy and freedom is eternal vigilance – and the dangers most often, are close to home, and not far away.

Keep your perspective, stay real, and be well. There is more to unfold yet in the story of human life on earth.

J. Todd Ring,

December 3, 2014

For more information on intelligent responses to Ebola, see, Your Best Strategy In the Face of Ebola, From GreenMedinfo, October 20, 2014, by James Maskell

For more on flu shots and vaccine effectiveness, see: Flu Vaccines Sold by Marketing Fear, Not Because They Work: BMJ Report, Health Impact News, December 3, 2014

For more on ISIS in context, see Noam Chomsky, America Is The World’s Leading Terrorist Nation:

http://www.popularresistance.org/chomsky-america-is-the-worlds-leading-terrorist-nation/

and

Jeremy Scahill, Scahill On Obama’s Orwellian War, on Democracy Now! http://www.democracynow.org/2014/10/3/jeremy_scahill_on_obamas_orwellian_war?autostart=true&get_clicky_key=suggested_next_story

What is happening in Venezuela? It’s certainly not what the mainstream media is telling you

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2014 by jtoddring

“Much of the reporting by the mass media gives the impression that Venezuela faces a national rebellion. The reality, says Miguel Tinker Salas, is that the protests have been restricted to mostly middle and upper middle class neighborhoods, not entire cities.”
  – Truthout, What is happening in Venezuela?
(Many, many thanks, to the honest journalism presented here, in this article, and in general at Truthout.)

Yes, as with the situation in Ukraine – and as is the usual norm, the truly pathological and dysfunctional norm under the rule of Western plutocracy and the corporate state – the people are being systematically lied to with regards to recent events in Venezuela.

What is happening in Venezuela? The left has won 18 out of the past 19 democratic elections, and the right wing, which used to rule the country, before Chavez changed all that – the right wing which is supported almost exclusively by the minority who are rich or middle class – is furious. That is what is happening in Venezuela.

“There is no evidence that broad sectors of society, especially the urban poor who provide the most support to the government, have joined the protests initiated by middle and upper class sectors. This division led one Colombian commentator to state, “Venezuela is an odd country, the only place were the rich protest and the poor celebrate.” It is doubtful the opposition can sustain the present level of protests. By seeking Maduro’s ouster through undemocratic means and without majority support, the opposition has once again entered a “callejon sin salida,” a political dead end…. The opposition will find it difficult to save face after this round of protests and many question their commitment to democratic principles and their ability to unite all of Venezuela.  Having radicalized their base, they now face the daunting task of demobilizing their followers if they are to salvage any credibility in future elections.”
   – Miguel Tinker Salas, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Truthout, March 6

Reading the mainstream media, you are given the impression, as you are meant to, that there is a national rebellion going on that has broad popular support. It doesn’t.

Municipal elections we recently held across the country, and the left won 70% of the vote, confirming that the democratic socialist government of Venezuela has broad and deep support among the people – as it has since Chavez took power through free and fair elections.

The same thing happened between 2002-2004, when the right wing staged a coup, and when that failed, staged “popular” protests, trying to destabilize the government and force a crisis of ungovernability, in order to overthrow the democratically elected government.

But Washington and the big corporations, including the corporations which control 90% of US media, despise both socialism and democracy, and especially when they are combined – and worst of all, when they prove it to be an illusion and a lie that socialism and democracy are not compatible, or even that democratic socialism must be a tyranny of the majority, as the right wing often likes to sloganeer about.

Venezuelan democracy is more populist, more grass-roots-based and more constitutionally based, not to mention far more free and fair and robust, than US politics have ever been, even before Wall Street consolidated its hold over the US “democratic” process. If we want to point to an anti-democratic tyranny, we don’t have to look very far. It is right here, in North American society, where the business elite rule, and democracy be damned.

Chavez re-drafted the Venezuelan constitution – not to give himself more power, but to write into the constitution, the right of the people to hold a presidential re-call vote, and to remove him or any other president from power. What dictator re-writes the constitution so that he can be removed from power by the people at any time? More to the point, which of our “democratic” and “freedom-loving” political elites – or prostitutes to the super-rich and the corporatocracy, I should say, to be more accurate – would even tolerate, let alone initiate, re-drafting the constitution to allow them to be removed from power at any time? Very, very few. In sum, Venezuela has been made, not only more prosperous, not only more equal, but also more free and more democratic under Chavez and his democratically elected successor, Nicolás Maduro.

Arguably, Venezuela is more democratic than the United States, which by every single measure, is run by and for Wall Street and the plutocratic, rabidly anti-democratic, quite literally fascist corporate elite. Washington should hang its head in shame, and bow low before the positive actions and the courage being demonstrated by the Veneuelan people and their elected government.

The rich, the right wing, Washington and the global corporate giants – and especially the oil giants, who do not like having to pay higher royalties to the Venezuelan people now, for the privilege of extracting the black gold from the country – are livid. But the people of Venezuela, aside from a rabidly anti-democratic and frequently violent, rich minority, support the democratic socialist government.

With Iraq, the US invaded – for the sake of the oil. In Ukraine, the US just staged a successful coup, as former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has made clear, and as Illinois professor of international law, Francis Boyle, also corroborated – in part, to gain control of gas pipelines supplying energy to Europe. In Libya, Washington staged a coup using Al Queda forces as their hired thugs – for oil. In Venezuela, Washington is backing the extreme right, in efforts to overthrow the democratically-elected government. So far, the people of Venezuela have held strong against such anti-democratic attempts to overthrow their widely supported and much-loved, elected government. I pray they will continue to succeed, and I believe they will. With the strength and solidarity of MERCOSUR, the powerful and fast-rising Latin American trade block, and with solidarity from people around the world, they will continue to win, I hope, I pray, and I do believe.

That is what is happening in Venezuela.

That, and the steady reduction of poverty and a fairer sharing of the wealth that comes from the country’s massive oil reserves (which are among the largest in the world), among other economic sectors as inequality shrinks, and constitutional, populist democracy is enshrined.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Canada and Europe, poverty and inequality are rising fast, while freedom, civil liberties and democracy are under attack. And who is pointing the finger at whom?

Really now. The hypocrisy of the Western, or rather, the North-Western media of North America and Europe, along with that of the political and business elite, would be shocking, if it were not so routine to have become banal. But it is certainly sickening and nauseating, nevertheless.

 

An aside: Routine media distortions, illusions and lies

I just read – or read as much as I could stomach – the CBC’s “in-depth analysis” of the situation in Ukraine. It was titled, “Ukraine in crisis: key facts, major developments.” Well, they failed to report any of the truly central facts, and they completely misrepresented and distorted all of the major actual facts and the truth of what is happening. So much for honest journalism in Canada. For the real key facts on the situation in Ukraine, see the article I wrote yesterday: http://jtoddring.com/2014/03/06/ukraine-cia-coup-geopolitical-analysis-and-wwiii/  – Ukraine: CIA coup, geopolitical analysis, and WWIII.

(CBC is Canada’s most-watched television news network, a state-run corporation that is widely, and very confusedly believed to be liberal to centre-left, neutral, objective, free and fair – as it presents itself. Some “necessary illusions” die hard. The CBC may compare favourably to, say Fox News, MSNBC or CNN, but that is a pretty low bar to surpass – you really have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to do worse than them.)

CBC, in terms of international news, you are a complete write-off, I am sorry to say. As Thomas Jefferson said, “I look upon my fellow countrymen with commiseration when they believe that by reading the papers they have learned something about the world. Those who never read the newspapers are better off than those who do, for it is better to know nothing, than to have one’s head filled with lies, half-truths and illusions.”

Better to shut off the mainstream corporate and state-run media altogether. What a wasteland of lies, distortions, falsifications and misinformation. Shut it off. Turn off the morphine drip. The mainstream media, the corporate and state-run media, have become the opiate of the people. Pull the plug.

For the real story, turn to Truthout, the Centre For Research On Gloobalization, Gerald Celente of Trends Research, Z Magazine, Democracy Now! and The Real News Network, or other carefully chosen independent media. Many people are already fed up with the mainstream media, and all the figures show it: the major media are losing their audience in droves. For the rest of the population, who still tune into the old guard media, I would suggests the alternatives mentioned above – here, real journalism lives, and the truth can be told, and spoken freely.

The world needs our help. If we are not informed, then it will be difficult for us to help anyone, or even to help ourselves. Stay informed, and get the real news. Change the channel, if you haven’t already.

J. Todd Ring, March 7, 2014

 

 

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