For some time now, the irving press commentary page has featured the opinions of the propagandists who write for The Fraser Institute. But lately, it has been featuring the propagandists who write for the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.
Now, this is a big improvement in propaganda because the AIMS is a propaganda house created by the owners of the irving press. So we know we can depend on it for honest and insightful analysis. And we can also be sure we'll never see any silly and malicious criticism of anything the irvings want.
For example, today offers a criticism of those incompetent civil servants who run our health system. They're not at all like the efficient and intelligent businessmen who used to run it when it was private.
This is sure to be a soothing column with never a harsh word about anything the irvings want. It will be something to read and be soothed by, secure in the knowledge it is sponsored by the better people of our society. (see the end of this column for the latest development in this breaking story.)
As they read the AIMS column, people will fall into that gentle sleep that the rest of irving news produces. In fact, it's a characteristic of almost all private news media.
Think back to the day Castro died. The news media were full of stories about what a terrible man he had been - a dictator - yuckie-poo. We read and heard of American politicians deploring this rise of a dictatorship in the freedom-loving western world. There were pages and pages of hope that democracy would now come to Cuba. And the listeners and readers bought it.
Apparently, they had forgotten that Cuba was a dictatorship BEFORE Castro. It was an extraordinarily brutal dictatorship imposed by - the United States of America. In fact, the U.S. imposed muurderous dictatorship on Cuba going way back to the turn of the century when it conquered that island. And why did the U.S. conquer it? Was there some danger it would invade the U.S. Did American children in Indiana go to bed in terror of a Cuba attack?
No. The U.S. conquered Cuba as it conquered a dozen or so countries in South America, sprinkling a dozen or so dictatorships like roses at a wedding.
Hundreds of thousands were killed in this process; and they are still dying today. They were and are killed to give American (and Canadian) business leaders control of the resources and the cheap labour of all those lands.
Fidel Castro was the only one to beat them, and to bring secure life back to the people. Funny how that part never made the news.
No, the news was all about the joy of the Cuban 'exiles' in Florida when Castro died. These were portrayed as the freedom-lovers who had escaped Castro. In fact, they were (and are) largely made up of the thugs, torturers and killers that the American dictators had employed to keep Cuba poor and ignorant.
When the people of Haiti democratically elected a president and ended some seventy years of rule by murderous dictators, the U.S. sent troops - supposedly to protect Haiti against an uprising - but actually to send the elected president into exile.
Similarly, Saddam Hussein has been a dictator of Iraq supported by the U.S. with an army trained and equipped by the U.S. to fight Iran (for the benefit of U.S. oil billionaires). The U.S. disposed of Saddam when he began to act too independently.
Offhand, I don't know of any country in the world that has created and supported so many dictatorships as the U.S. has. Or that has subjected so many people to hunger, fear and brutality. But in our news media, it's all 'sweet land of liberty'. And people buy this nonsense.
Earlier European empires were the same. Brits sang proudly that "Britons never never never shall be slaves" even as no-one was making them slaves but as they were enslaving millions.
We need news media that would make us take a hard look at ourselves, and the suffering and misery we have spread all over the world.
But don't expect to find that in a commentary by the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies.
Canada and the U.S., by the way, have recently agreed there will be a ban on future drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean. Watch for Trump to abandon that early in his presidency. And watch Trudeau squirm.
Also on the pollution front, we have this word from China.
This can be fixed. Believe it or not, London's smog after World War 2 was much, much worse - so bad that visibility was commonly just an arm's length - and also due to the use of coal and inefficient gas engines.
(Generally, there's not much in today's The Guardian.)
There are no limits to greed. But you won't see this one in the irving press, either - or in the AIMS commentary.
I was a kid in the Korean War, just old enough to know some of the kids who went to die in it. What intriqued me about this article is a history background to that war that I never knew - and the use of lanuage as propaganda that I was never aware of when I read it.
The one bit of propaganda languange i did notice was that, in the press, all veterans of Korea (on our side) were "Korean war heroes". That was standard in all new stories. By contrast, the word hero in the Second World War was normally reserved for those how had received medals for heroism. But after Korea, everybody was a hero as in,
"Korean war hero gets parking ticket." Seriously.
And, speaking of dictators and the U.S. connection with them, here's one I was sorry to see.
Here's a story about a 'war' fought to kill innocent civilians. It killed some 300,000 of them - but never made the news, even though some of the victims were Canadians and Americans. It was a war that produced a candidate for sainthood - and should probably have produced more because many lives were willingly surrendered in defence of the innocent.
Note that the war was instigated by that nice Mr. Reagan, and that the killers were to be found in the ranks of the dictatorship - a type of government that the land of the free is happy to impose on others.
I enclose the next site not because of any particular story but because of its emphasis on American content. (And this blog has a lot of American readers.)
Here's news of the climate change that Mr. Trump tells us isn't happening.
And here's a cheery note.
I wrote all the above yesterday, on Dec. 21. Then I just got too depressed to finish it. Almost every news story has some connection with big money and the very wealthy of our society. Virtually all wars are fought because of them - and for their benefit. That's come to be all the patriotism that lies behind O Canada! and God Bless America.
The rise of Trump has just emphasized something that happened a long time ago. We are ruled by the greediest, least moral and, commonly, least intelligent people in our society. It's been disguised (sort of) up to now with the likes of Obama and Clinton. But Trump has brought it all into the open. And it's not just the leader now. If you look at Trump's government team what you find is that it's full of people just like him - without morality, without social aims, without thought for the ordinary person, and with a greed that makes intelligent thought impossible. It is very likely that millions will die for Trump as millions died for Obama and Bush.
In the election campaign, neither Trump nor Clinton had much to say about the horror we have created in the middle east. Their only interest was in winning it, whatever IT might be. The it in this case is largely middle east oil. There was no need to fight over this in the first place except to ensure that all the profits flowed to wealthy business leaders of the western world. For that, millions have died or been refugeed, tens of millions will never have a chance at a normal life.
And don't kid yourselves that we, all of us, are not on the table. In the eyes of these people we are all here to be exploited, abused, and thrown away when no longer useful.
On Nov. 11, we're supposed to remember what our veterans fought and died for. But we never do. There were promises made in world war two, promises to a world that had experienced little but hunger, uncertainy, deprivation in the years before the war. The billionaires existed then, too. And they had brutally exploited Canadians, Americans and, even more, the victims of their empires.
For a little while, we got some action on the promises - but not much. We got government pensions. We got....well, that was about it. We did, later, get medicare. But that was more because of a Baptist preacher from Saskatchewan than it was because of our usual politicians.
And ever since, the billionaires have been working to take that from us.
Unregulated or underregulated capitalism does not work. That's has been proven many times but has never made the news media that our major capitalists own. (For that matter, privately-owned news media don't work, either.)
The result of the election of Trump almost certainly means domestic violence in the U.S. But it is likely to be a violence with no tradition to build on and no philiosophy that fits into the American myth.
And it almost certainly means massive suffering because the billionaires have always brought that trailing behind them.
On a light note, today's editorial page column by Norbert Cunningham was a raging attack on a think tank of the wealthy, the Fraser Institute. This is an institution funded by the wealthy, and devoted to their praise. For some time, it appeared two or three times a week in the irving press - and always to hymns of praise from the likes of Cunningham.
But suddenly, just a few days ago, it stopped appearing in the irving press. It was replaced by an even worse propaganda column, the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies - bu this one dominated by the owners of the irving press.
And now, today, Norbert Cunningham, who never saw a far right wing billionaire owned propaganda think thank that he didn't like, has a flaming attack on the Fraser Insitute. What can it be? Have the billionaires fallen out? Obviously, Cunningham's attack must be approved by the newspaper ownership because Cunninghman has never had an independent opinion in his life.
What can this be? A battle of titans? Follow this spot for the breaking story