January 2016 Open Thread

Past time for more thread.


  1. #1 Bernard J.
    February 6, 2016

    Stu 2 might be interested to hear that there are remote dry region farmers who are aghast at the Marshall plan to silence climatology and oceanography in the CSIRO:


    It’s good to be reminded that not all traditionally conservative folk are as scientifically stupid as is Stu 2.

  2. #2 Jeff Harvey
    February 6, 2016

    Stu2, what strikes me is how utterly naive you are. Its not really worth my time educating you as the the vagaries of our so-called alleged democracies. I will say what I have said many times: you and I start on very different intellectual levels. Take that as a putdown, a smear, whatever, but its the plain truth. The fact that you linked to a Sky interview with a reformed ‘extremist’ says it all; the questions asked by the presenter were softball. Nothing about western forms of extremism that drive young people towards radical ideas. Nothing about western bombs blowing people to smithereens across the Middle East, and a long history of continuity on the part of western elites in murder and plunder in the lands of the poor. Seeing it, I realized fully what I am up against in you. A novice.

    I’ll end with a few lines about an important interview Noam Chomsky gave to BBC political correspondent Andrew Marr back in 1996. Chomsky is ignored by the mainstream corporate media simply because his message conflicts with those holding power and privilege, so any reference to him is usually aimed at isolating his views to make them seem as if they are way out; radical; extreme. Its a part of the process of ‘normalizing’ western crimes of which of course there are many. Anyway, Marr, a friend of Tony Blair, said in April of 2003 live on BBC news (I vividly remember the segment) that The Iraq invasion had been a resounding success, vindicating Blair, and that he saw minsters walking around Whitehall brandishing smiles ‘like split watermelons’. He went on to say that there had been no bloodbath in taking Iraq, and it had comprehensively vindicated the invasion.

    So much for holding power to account as was the original remit of journalism. These days our corporate media act more like stenographers to corporate and political elites.

    Anyway, back in ’96, Marr asked Chomsky if Chomsky thought that he was ‘self-censoring’ as a journalist. Chomsky smiled and said ‘not at all. I truly believe that you yourself believe everything that you say and write. What I am saying is that if you believed something different, you would not be sitting where you are, working for the BBC’.

    Therein lies the rub. As the propaganda model in ‘Manufacturing Consent’, the groundbreaking expose of the state-corporate media by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky argues, there is a ‘filter’ (or indeed several filters) through which journalists must pass in order to secure jobs in the top corporate-state media outlets. The filter is ideologically biased to support out own elite agendas. Indeed, the propaganda model explicitly states that, ‘The aim of the western media is to inculcate and defend the social, political and economic agendas of the rich and privileged groups that dominate domestic society and the state’. he book is filled with examples in support of the model and has since been further supported by books from the UK team at Medialens (‘Guardians of Power’; ‘Newspeak in the 20th Century’) and Greg Philo’s research unit in (I think) Edinburgh as well as FAIR in the US.

    Until Stu2 can even understand the basics of the model and of the system underpinning it, I might as well be discussing this with my little dog Charlie.

  3. #3 Lionel A
    February 6, 2016

    A lesson from ants

    How to Destroy a Megalopolis?

  4. #4 Stu 2
    February 7, 2016

    Errrr Jeff?
    He joined as someone from the west (UK) precisely for those reasons & had an epiphany, where he realised he had become the epitome of what he despised.
    Maybe you need to watch it again with your own filter switched off?

  5. #5 Bernard J.
    February 8, 2016

    Unbelievable… Mark Steyne is a panelist on next week’s QandA – and he was hailed as a “conservative beacon of light”.

    I vomited a little bit in my mouth.

  6. #6 Lionel A
    February 8, 2016

    A hot new book that should provide a corrective for some of the reasoning, or lack thereof, displayed by some of our troll collective of late H/T Greg Laden Dark Money review: Nazi oil, the Koch brothers and a rightwing revolution. These are clearly not nice people and they explain why the world is going to hell in a handcart, and a hot hell it is going to be with reductions in available vital resources such as water and food.

  7. #7 Bernard J.
    February 9, 2016

    Jeff, you may be interested in the proceedings to come from this conference which is currently in progress:


  8. #8 Jeff Harvey
    February 9, 2016

    “he realised he had become the epitome of what he despised”

    If only war criminals like George W. Bush and his coterie of neocons and Tony Blair would have such an ‘epiphany’. Same for Obama really – he boasted that he ‘is good at killing people’.

    But of course, our state/corporate media normalizes our crimes and focuses laser-like on those of officially designated enemies. Its as if the carnage of our policies, which, if truth be told, makes groups like ISIL look like lethal fleas by comparison, does not exist.

  9. #9 Jeff Harvey
    February 9, 2016

    Bernard, thanks for the link! Some of the lectures are very relevant for the work being done under an ERC grant in our department. I’ll check out some of the abstracts.

  10. #10 Bernard J.
    February 9, 2016

    I highly recommend the papers Jeff. There’s some excellent work there, and some profoundly disturbing impacts being detected.

    Bottom line for the planet… unless we pull out of the dive now, the collision with the future is going to be messy. Very messy.

  11. #11 cRR Kampen
    February 9, 2016

    ” Very messy.”
    So prepare.

  12. #12 Lionel A
    February 9, 2016

    Thanks Bernard J. for that species on the move. Any accesible papers there that may be of interest e.g. in answering the recent surge in cetacean numbers, particularly sperm whales, washing up on UK North Sea coasts?

    There have been algal blooms in North Atlantic waters over recent decades with some last year stretching across the Icelandic waters, Svalbard and the Scandinavian coasts as well as down past the Hebrides into the Irish Sea. Some reported on here..

    Having visited the Trishnish Isles and photographed the Puffin I am saddened to hear that populations are in decline around UK, probably as the waters become too warm for their staple of sand eels.

  13. #13 Bernard J.
    February 10, 2016

    Lionel, if you ask Sou to pass on your email address to me I’ll talk to some people and see if I can get some material to you. It may take a small period of time though.

  14. #14 Lionel A
    February 10, 2016

    Thanks Bernard, the required is highly visible here.

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