Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Net worth of mainstream media

The internet has brought us a freedom we've never had before. Not only are people from all over the world able to chat real time on anything they like, news now reaches us literally at the speed of light.
It has also given rise to bloggers, and internet journalists. Whereas traditional media costs a great deal to reach the consumer, in the form of production costs, blogs are free. This means that we have citizen reporters who can give first hand accounts of events as they happen on the ground. There are also people who can give their opinions and feelings about events, raise questions and suspicions. And there certainly is a place for that. There are excellent net journalists out there, like Chris Floyd, Gref Palast and William Blum, unfettered by having to kow tow to advertisers they do great indepth research, cite their sources. I love Floyd's turn of phrase and his ferral opposition to all things Bush.
But there is a flipside to internet writers. Blogging has become very popular, fast paced and entertaining. They're great at sharing their opinions, spreading rumours and gossip. The problems happen when people turn to them for news. These are not journalists. They are laymen with scant regard for ethics and even less regard for publishing law. And at the moment they can say and do more or less what they please until someone who knows better finds them out. The veracity of their writing becomes questionable, sometimes deliberately misleading, especially if their blog is of a crusading nature. The sad thing is that readers get sucked into these blogs and believe that the writer is telling the truth. They don't understand the checking processes that need to go on to produce a story. Furthermore the questionable copy is often picked up and reproduced willy nilly by other crusaders of the same ilk. So metaphors or illustrations become "facts" and the truth is lost.
While most mainstream newspapers make a conscious effort to be unbiased, many bloggers cater to specific interests... such as previously mentioned Henry Makow and his anti-feminism rants, Jan Lamprecht and his racists.
Where does that leave the real internet journalists? It knocks their credibility. It leaves their real and important messages open to question, and means their chances of reaching mainstream readers is minimalised. They are consigned to the "tinfoil hat brigade".
Nowhere was this more evident than in the runup to the Iraq war. The mainstream media which are fed by the big news companies, such as Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, along with the regionals Itar TASS, Xinghua and so on. For the most part only local copy is dealt with by reporters working on those newspapers. So a newspaper in Wagga Wagga would have reporters covering stories in Wagga Wagga and take the bulk of its copy from reputable news sources. If those reputable sources don't ask the questions you as a journalist would like answered, there's not much way of getting them.
It takes a special breed of journalist to track down the truth, sift through the mountains of evidence, get the people to talk to them. And it is so easy for them to be marginalised or killed to keep them quiet.
So I really salute men like Floyd, Palast and Blum. And with the cowboys would learn that words carry responsibility.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Women's rights are human rights

Why is it that in even the most modern of cities, prostitution is still taboo?
Now please, don't get me wrong here. I'm not talking about child prostitution. I'm not talking about human trafficking. I'm talking about a business transaction between two consenting adults.
Why is it wrong? Why do governments feel they have a right to get involved in something like this? Who does it harm?
Don't give me the nonsense that it "harms family life".
The family life is already harmed if a man goes to a prostitute if that is not part of their mutual agreement. The act of going is not causing the harm.
Don't tell me about AIDS and STDs. If it wasn't made into a crime sex workers would be more willing to be tested, could more easily be educated and the rate of disease would actualy drop.
Also, sex workers do perform a social function. There are many people out there who enjoy their company as they are unable to be in a stable and loving relationship. Why should they be denied the physical release and pleasure? Again, who is it hurting?

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Oppressors R us

Somewhere out there is a man, excuse me, he likes to be called Doctor - no, not that sort of doctor - who in his own little way is trying to stop the world and set it in reverse. As far as he's concerned the world's evils can all be attributed to - in varying degrees - feminism, along with the usual communism and satanism, all three of which are the brainchilds of... BANKERS.
Okay okay, I know most of you expected me to say The Bilderberg Group, but no... the BG, Masons, Communists, liberals, feminists, democrats, Pagans, Roscrucians and SPCA are all run by BANKERS.
The man's entitled, like all fundamentalists, to pick his own group of oppressors, but what is fascinating about this phenomenon is that Henry Makow has a website, savethemales.org.ca on which men congregate to whine how women did them wrong. If only them bitches would just git back inna house and make more babies, life would be wonderful again.
Wonderful for whom?
He posts items from girls who are ashamed of their "slutty" pasts, and regret sleeping around. Oddly enough he never has anything of the like from boys. The only inference to be drawn from this is that men can't control themselves.
I had a very similar conversation with a number of Muslim men, about the strict dress codes of Islam, and they admitted that the religion - like most montheistic cultures - puts the onus of sexual control on the woman. Once a woman does not fit into that role, all bets are off. Men have no responsibility whatsoever.
Another thing I find quite strange about this group's musings is that they believe women are to blame for the high divorce rate, and the ruthless goverment helped them do it. The fact that they can get alimony and state help raising children means that they can just toss their mates aside and go it alone.
They don't take into consideration the philandering, the abuse, and utter unfairness of the system they propose. No, women should rejoice in the fact that they will have a man to take care of everything, and all they have to do is worry about keeping HIM happy.
And he's not wrong. If a woman wants nothing else than to raise children and make her husband into a success, she would be truly happy to find a man to protect and care for her and their brood. My grandmother was one such woman, constantly upbeat, whose only major decision of the day was what to make her beloved husband for his dinner. But then he was a Mason, so maybe she doesn't count.
All in all there is a feeling of redundancy about the men - one hates to openly use the word "Losers" who wistfully hearken back to the days when a woman was owned by her father and then by her husband.
Yet none of them see fit to examine men's behaviour over the past ohhhh three or four thousand years, and discover why it is that women feel it unwise to place their faith in a man. Rather they see this from the other side of the one-way mirror - you don't trust me so what chance do we have?
The world is a constantly changing place, and no one doubts that when systems we are comfortable with change radically we go through some stress. Makow is not the only one to blame it all on some huge organised evil, and he won't be the last.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Where Have All the Women Gone

The latest reports that there are 30 million more men in China (at marriageable age) than women is stark evidence of the sexual inequality that is rampant across the Asian continent. When China, in an effort to rein in its population growth, brought in the infamous one child policy it might have foreseen the dire consequences. While the communists can preach about equality, the truth is, traditionally, boys are more wanted than girls. And so, if a couple was limited to only having one child, they would choose that child to be a boy.
Let's not couch this in euphemisms. That means that some 30 million baby girls have been murdered, either aborted if the technology is available to determine sex before birth, or drowned by the midwife before they take their first breath of air.
In other parts of Asia infant girls have sand or salt poured into their mouths, are buried alive or tossed into latrines.
Now it's payback, with the shortage of wives in Pakistan, India and China reaching crises levels.
One would think that this would bode well for women. Those people eager to push market driven politics would tell you that a rarer commodity is more precious.
Sadly that is not the case.
The lack of wives sees men turn to abduction or human trafficking. Worse still are the horror stories coming out of the Indian subcontinent where women, marrying one man, are forced to sexually service all the males in the family.
You would have a difficult time finding this sort of thing in Beijing, New Delhi or Islamabad. But in rural areas, where women are ranked below water buffalo, the real misery lies.
It will take years to correct this imbalance that has thwarted efforts to bring human rights to women in these places. And it needs to be actively corrected.
To this end authorities are banning the use of pregnancy scans to determine the sex of the fetus. But that is a baby step. While wanting to stop spiraling population growth governments find themselves dealing with old belief systems, and traditions such as that in India where a woman must pay her husband a dowry for the pleasure of marrying him.
Interestingly enough, the children of the One Child Policy in China, known as "Little Emperors" because of the attention lavished on them, are finding it difficult to find employment.
More and more companies are refusing to employ the Little Emperors because they believe they are weak, unable to cope with day to day decision making, lack the competitive edge that children who come from larger families have.
This social upheavel could prove disastrous for these countries that spawn entire generations of people who have grown up being the centre of attention and lacking the knocks and bumps that come from siblings.
Not only that but they treat the other third of their population as goods to be traded.
Perhaps these men will be prevented from finding a mate. And nature, in due course, will be able to set this disaster right.

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