The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interest, to fulfill this role requires systematic propaganda.
A propaganda model focuses on this inequality of wealth and power and its multilevel effects on mass-media interests and choices. It traces the routes by which money and power are able to filter out the news fit to print, marginalize dissent, and allow the government and dominant private interests to get their messages across to the public. The essential ingredients of our propaganda model, or set of news "filters," fall under the following headings:
These elements interact with and reinforce one another. The raw material of news must pass through successive filters, leaving only the cleansed residue fit to print. They fix the premises of discourse and interpretation, and the definition of what is newsworthy in the first place, and they explain the basis and operations of what amount to propaganda campaigns.
I’m an atmospheric physicist. I’ve published more than 200 scientific papers. For 30 years I taught at MIT, during which time the climate has changed remarkably little. But the cry of “global warming” has grown ever more shrill. In fact, it seems that the less the climate changes, the louder the voices of the climate alarmists get. So, let’s clear the air and create a more accurate picture of where we really stand on the issue of global warming or, as it is now called -- climate change.
There are basically three groups of people dealing with this issue. Groups one and two are scientists. Group three consists mostly, at its core, of politicians, environmentalists and media.
Group one is associated with the scientific part of the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change or IPCC (Working Group 1). These are scientists who mostly believe that recent climate change is primarily due to man’s burning of fossil fuels -- oil, coal and natural gas. This releases C02, carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere and, they believe, this might eventually dangerously heat the planet.
Group two is made up of scientists who don’t see this as an especially serious problem. This is the group I belong to. We’re usually referred to as skeptics. We note that there are many reasons why the climate changes -- the sun, clouds, oceans, the orbital variations of the earth, as well as a myriad of other inputs.
None of these is fully understood, and there is no evidence that CO2 emissions are the dominant factor. But actually there is much agreement between both groups of scientists. The following are such points of agreement:
Most importantly, the scenario that the burning of fossil fuels leads to catastrophe isn’t part of what either group asserts. So why are so many people worried, indeed, panic stricken about this issue?
Here’s where Group Three comes in -- the politicians, environmentalists, and media. Global Warming Alarmism provides them, more than any other issue, with the things they most want: For politicians it’s money and power. For environmentalists it’s money for their organizations and confirmation of their near religious devotion to the idea that man is a destructive force acting upon nature. And for the media it’s ideology, money, and headlines -- doomsday scenarios sell.
Meanwhile, over the last decade, scientists outside of climate physics have jumped on the bandwagon, publishing papers blaming global warming for everything from acne to the Syrian civil war. And, crony capitalists have eagerly grabbed for the subsidies that governments have so lavishly provided.
Unfortunately, group three is winning the argument because they have drowned out the serious debate that should be going on. But while politicians, environmentalists and media types can waste a lot of money and scare a lot of people, they won’t be able to bury the truth. The climate will have the final word on that.
I’m Richard Lindzen, emeritus professor of Atmospheric Sciences at MIT, for PragerUniversity.
Denver has approved a city ordinance to decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms, the city's elections division said.
The Initiated Ordinance 301, or the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Initiative, was approved Tuesday by less than 2,000 votes, according to preliminary results from the elections division.
About 50.5% of voters supported the ordinance, while about 49.4% were against it, election officials said.
The results will not become official until May 16. The ordinance's text seeks to "deprioritize, to the greatest extent possible" criminal penalties imposed by the City of Denver "for the personal use and personal possession of psilocybin mushrooms."
The city is set to establish a "policy review panel to assess and report on the effects of the ordinance" per the initiative's requirements.
A range of mushroom species naturally contain the compound psilocybin, which has hallucinogenic properties. The US Department of Justice lists psilocybin as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning official federal policy states the fungi have no medicinal properties.
Although it doesn't legalize the mushrooms, the ordinance would "prohibit the city from spending resources to impose criminal penalties" on those who have them.
The drugs have long been popular for recreational use. But a growing body of medical research shows that psilocybin can treat conditions like anxiety and depression, in cases where drugs currently on the market cannot.
For instance, a 2017 study published in the journal Nature showed that 47% of patients experiencing treatment-resistant depression showed positive responses at five weeks after receiving a psilocybin treatments (Carhart-Harris et al., 2017).
And in 2018, researchers from Johns Hopkins University called for removing psilocybin from the list of Schedule I substances (Johnson et al., 2018).
Denver has led the nation in changing drug policy
Kevin Matthews, the campaign director of Decriminalize Denver, organized the grassroots effort to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms.
Matthews told CNN that he credited mushrooms with "really saving my life."
He had been a cadet at the United States Military Academy when he developed major depression and received a medical discharge.
"My life had crumbled beneath my feet," he said.
After years of suffering and not finding a solution, Matthews said friends introduced him to psilocybin mushrooms.
"The positive effects lasted weeks and weeks and weeks," he said. "I had been feeling pretty isolated and alone and until then, couldn't see the love all around me."
On its website, Decriminalize Denver says, "Humans have used these mushrooms for thousands of years for healing, rites of passage, spiritual insight, strengthening community, and raising consciousness,"
The group also argues that "One arrest is too many for something with such low and manageable risks for most people, relative to its potential benefits."
The initiative received endorsements from the Denver Green Party and the Libertarian Party of Colorado.
In January, Decriminalize Denver announced that it collected nearly 9,500 signatures, and turned in paperwork with the Denver Elections Division to get the initiative placed on the ballot.
At the time, Jeff Hunt, vice president of public policy for Colorado Christian University, told CNN affiliate KMGH that he opposed the decriminalizing of magic mushrooms in the city. He said the ordinance might discourage tourists from coming to the city."Denver is quickly becoming the illicit drug capital of the world," Hunt said. "The truth is we have no idea what the long-term health effects of these drugs are going to do to the people of Colorado."
The ballot initiative will build on previous efforts regarding drug ordinances. In 2005, the city became the first major city in the United States to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
Carhart-Harris, R., Roseman, L., Bolstridge, M., Demetriou, L., Pannekoek, J., Wall, M., Tanner, M., Kaelen, M., McGonigle, J., Murphy, K., Leech, R., Curran, H. and Nutt, D. (2017). Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms. Scientific Reports, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-13282-7 [Accessed 18 May 2019].
Chavez, N. and Prior, R. (2019). Denver becomes the first city to decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms. [online] CNN. Available at: https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/08/us/denver-magic-mushrooms-approved-trnd/index.html [Accessed 18 May 2019].
Johnson, M., Griffiths, R., Hendricks, P. and Henningfield, J. (2018). The abuse potential of medical psilocybin according to the 8 factors of the Controlled Substances Act. Neuropharmacology, 142, pp.143-166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.05.012 [Accessed 18 May 2019].
Our economy is based on consumption and advertising is the arm of creating artificial demand. And without that arm, we wouldn’t have people aspiring to things that are highly irrational. When advertising presents something that seems to be what some people want, it spreads like a virus and then everybody wants it, because it is an issue of social inclusion, which is a part of our biology, because that is how we identify. We identify and define ourselves by how others see us and how we are included in the group.
So it manipulates our most primal sense of humanity in order to sell things. If we didn’t have that arm in our consumption-based society since the Industrial Revolution, the economy would collapse. That is a very unique point to make because when you first start an economy like in the agrarian society, you’re meeting demand right? That’s the point and that makes sense.
But at some point this had to change because when you have such a highly-efficient, productive economy that we have today, at least in the technical sense of what we can create, you have to have demand created now.
That is one of the central flaws of market economics or capitalism that has come to fruition today, not only destroying human psychology, but destroying the environment simultaneously, because you have an insatiable culture that has been literally generated. And then progress is defined by what we produce. The more you buy, the more you own. That must be progress now.
It’s a kind of cultural violence. The more people promote materialistic values, the more they want more and more this and that, the more they flaunt this type of phenomenon, the more they create cultural violence. Because if you create a society that thrives in this type of self-identification, you are basically also promoting not only the destruction of the environment, but the diminishment of others, because you are saying, “I can afford this. I have the status and I am better for than and this person can’t.” And we see that phenomenally amplified today in the modern world.
I often wonder what a world would be like without advertising, which would be a world without marketing and markets, and I can tell you it would be a far more peaceful and sustainable and amiable and humane than what we see today.
Now openly admitted, governments and militaries around the world employ armies of keyboard warriors to spread propaganda and disrupt their online opposition. Their goal? To shape public discourse around global events in a way favorable to their standing military and geopolitical objectives. Their method? The Weaponization of Social Media.
The presence of former military and intelligence officials in newsrooms was once thought controversial. In 2008, the New York Times wrote an investigative analysis outlining the George W. Bush administration’s use of military analysts to shape terrorism coverage.
Internal Pentagon documents referred to them as “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” who could be counted on to deliver administration “themes and messages” to millions of Americans “in the form of their own opinions.”
The largest contingent of analysts were affiliated with Fox News, followed by NBC and CNN, the investigation found.
RT International. (2018). ‘News directly from the CIA’: Ex-director Brennan hired by NBC. [online] Available at: https://www.rt.com/usa/417937-cia-john-brennan-nbc/ [Accessed 9 Feb. 2018].
A Duluth-based health system - a company founded in 2003 that owns and operates 15 hospitals and 75 medical clinics located in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Idaho - has fired about 50 employees who refused to get an annual flu shot (KWG, 2017). A few days later it was reported that a total of Essentia Health 69 employees had been let go (Dyer, 2017).
Essentia Health announced last month that employees would be required to get vaccinated for influenza to help keep patients from getting infected, or else receive a religious or medical exemption.
Minnesota employees were particularly disturbed by the requirement, as state law does not mandate influenza vaccinations for health care workers.
Vaccine Mandate Based on Flawed and Weak Evidence
Researchers have sought out for the scientific evidence used to push mandatory flu vaccinations of all hospital personnel. There are four cluster randomized controlled trials, conducted exclusively in long-term care facilities and nursing homes that have specifically assessed indirect patient benefits from health care worker influenza vaccination which have been most often cited in the support of mandatory health care worker policies.
Two pivotal systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been published summarizing and pooling these four cRCT findings, but reached different conclusions about the strength of that evidence.
Given this, researchers analyzed the four randomized controlled trials underpinning policies of enforced health-care worker influenza vaccination and discovered implausibly large reductions in patient risk to health-care worker vaccination, casting serious doubts on their validity.
In other words, the impression that unvaccinated heath-care workers place their patients at great influenza peril is greatly exaggerated. Instead, the risk attributable to health-care workers remains unknown and the number needed to vaccinate to achieve patient benefit still requires better understanding (De Serres et al., 2017).
De Serres, G., Skowronski, D., Ward, B., Gardam, M., Lemieux, C., Yassi, A., Patrick, D., Krajden, M., Loeb, M., Collignon, P. and Carrat, F. (2017). Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Workers: Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Patient Benefit Underpinning Policies of Enforcement. PLOS ONE, 12(1), p.e0163586. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0163586
Dyer, O. (2017). US healthcare company fires 69 employees for refusing flu vaccination. BMJ, p.j5473. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5473
KGW. (2017). Company fires about 50 workers for refusing to get flu shot. [online] Available at: http://www.kgw.com/news/company-fires-about-50-workers-for-refusing-to-get-flu-shot/493776350 [Accessed 16 Dec. 2017].
Mercola, J. (2017). Vaccine Deficient Employees Fired to Gain Health Care Funding. [online] Mercola.com. Available at: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/12/05/mandatory-influenza-vaccinations.aspx [Accessed 16 Dec. 2017].
The researchers estimated the causal effect on website pageviews and Twitter discussion of the articles’ specific subjects, and national Twitter conversation in broad policy areas. The intervention increased discussion in each broad policy area by ~62.7% (relative to a day’s volume), accounting for 13,166 additional posts over the treatment week, with similar effects across population subgroups.
The fields of political communication in general and media effects in particular are broad, deep, methodologically sophisticated, and central to social science. They have covered persuasion, agenda setting, attitude formation, diffusion, gatekeeping, priming and agenda setting, issue framing, and numerous other topics, and are built on a wide range of intellectual traditions.
The focus of this research was on an aspect of political communication with special relevance to the study of representative democracy: how the news media activate public expression, causing citizens to discuss major issues of policy and politics as part of the ongoing, collective “national conversation.” A well-functioning democracy larger than the sum of individual attitudes and behaviors requires public discussion and engagement among citizens on major issues of the day. Indeed, “political participation is not merely about trying to influence policy but also about trying to induce others to participate and give voice”. Although governments may easily dismiss any individual’s opinion, collective public expression has a powerful impact on the behavior of government officials and the public policies they promote. The power of collective expression is a central feature of both representative democracy—where “the more the people are aware of each others' opinions, the stronger the incentive for those who govern to take those opinions into account."
Thus the researchers studied the effects of the media on expressed public opinion and with a focus not on changes in individual behavior or attitudes but instead on the content of the national conversation. Today, researchers can take advantage of the fact that much of the conversation has moved to, and is recorded in, the 750 million social media posts that appear publicly on the web every day.
The total effect indicates that the researchers experimental intervention overall caused a 62.7% increase in social media posts over the week relative to the average day’s volume (or 10.4% relative to the entire week), which on average in a policy area accounts for Americans writing a total of 13,166 additional social media posts solely because of the intervention. The national conversation really is one conversation, at least among those able to participate in social media; even if they do not interact with each other, the evidence indicates that they are being influenced in similar ways by the news media.
These results should serve as a reminder of the importance of the ongoing and interconnected national conversation Americans have around major issues of public policy. This conversation is a fundamental characteristic of modern large-scale government, the content of which has important implications for the behavior of officeholders and public policies. We also find—among those who participate in social media—that the effects of the news media are approximately the same across citizens of different political parties, genders, regions, and influence in social media, further supporting the idea that the conversation is truly national. Given the tremendous power of media outlets to set the agenda for public discussion, the ideological and policy perspectives of those who own media outlets have considerable importance for the nature of American democracy and public policy. The ideological balance across the news media ecosystem, among the owners of media outlets, needs considerable attention as well. The ability of the media to powerfully influence our national conversation also suggests profound implications for future research on “fake news” potentially having similar effect sizes or “filter bubbles” potentially reducing or directing these effects.
King, G., Schneer, B. and White, A. (2017). How the news media activate public expression and influence national agendas. Science, [online] 358(6364), pp.776-780. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aao1100 [Accessed 18 Nov. 2017].
The Paradise Papers is a global investigation into the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and 95 media partners explored 13.4 million leaked files from a combination of offshore service providers and the company registries of some of the world’s most secretive countries.
The files were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The Paradise Papers documents include nearly 7 million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork from nearly 50 years at Appleby, a leading offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond. The documents also include files from a smaller, family-owned trust company, Asiaciti, and from company registries in 19 secrecy jurisdictions.
The records range from complex, 100-page corporate transaction sheets and dollar-by-dollar payment ledgers to simple corporate registries of countries, such as Antigua & Barbuda, that do not publicly list names of company shareholders or directors.
As a whole, the 1.4 terabyte data leak exposes offshore holdings of political leaders and their financiers as well as household-name companies that slash taxes through transactions conducted in secret. Financial deals of billionaires and celebrities are also revealed in the documents.
The Paradise Papers files include far more information about U.S. citizens, residents and companies than previous ICIJ investigations – at least 31,000 of them. ICIJ collaborated with more than 380 journalists working on six continents in 30 languages. Many team members spent a year using online platforms to communicate and to share documents. Journalists tracked down court records, obtained financial disclosures of politicians in Africa, Europe, and Latin and North America, filed freedom of information requests and conducted hundreds of interviews with tax experts, policymakers and industry insiders.
Corrupt governments & corporations can't hide in the information age; transparency & accountability is the only solution.
ICIJ. (2017). Paradise Papers Exposes Donald Trump Russia Links and Piggy Banks of the Wealthiest 1 percent. [online] International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Available at: https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/paradise-papers-exposes-donald-trump-russia-links-and-piggy-banks-of-the-wealthiest-1-percent/ [Accessed 6 Nov. 2017].
Main, L., Wilkinson, M. & Koloff. S. (2017). Paradise Papers: What is the leak and who is behind the firm Appleby?. [online] Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Available at:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-06/what-are-the-paradise-papers-and-what-is-the-firm-appleby/9075640 [Accessed 6 Nov. 2017].
In the wake of London and Manchester, politicians around the world are trying to convince the public that the free flow of information on the internet is a terror threat. In reality, independent online media are exposing the real terrorists: the politicians and their deep state handlers who are funding, arming, aiding and enabling false flag terror.
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