HOW PROPAGANDA CONQUERS DEMOCRACY, bigOfeature Nicolas JS Davies January 25, 2015 In recent decades, the US propaganda system has grown more and more sophisticated in the art of “perception management,” now enlisting not only government PR specialists but careerist journalists and aspiring bloggers to push deceptions on the public. By Nicolas JS Davies.
Do we live in a country where citizens are critically informed on the issues of the day by media that operate independently of the government? Or do our political leaders deliberately plant a false view of events and issues in the mind of the public that complicit media then broadcast and amplify to generate public consent for government policy?
This is a basic test of democracy for the citizens of any country. But the very nature of modern propaganda systems is that they masquerade as independent while functioning as the opposite, so the question is not as straightforward as it seems.
In Democracy Incorporated; Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, political scientist Sheldon Wolin examined how America’s “managed democracy” has devolved into “inverted totalitarianism,” concentrating power and wealth in the hands of a small ruling class more efficiently and sustainably than 20th Century “classical totalitarianism” ever succeeded in doing.
Instead of sweeping away the structures of constitutional government like the Fascists, Nazis or Soviets, this “political coming-of-age of corporate power” has more cleverly preserved and co-opted nominally democratic institutions and adapted them to its own purposes.
Self-serving politicians and parties compete for funding in election campaigns run by the advertising industry, to give political investors the most corrupt President, administration and Congress that money can buy, while courts uphold new corporate and plutocratic political rights to ward off challenges to the closed circle of wealth and political power.
Oligarchic corporate control of the media is a critical element in this dystopian system. Under the genius of inverted totalitarianism, a confluence of corrupt interests has built a more effective and durable propaganda system than direct government control has ever achieved.
The editor or media executive who amplifies government and corporate propaganda and suppresses alternative narratives is not generally doing so on orders from the government, but in the interest of his own career, his company’s success in the corporate oligarchy or “marketplace,” and his responsibility not to provide a platform for radical or “irrelevant” ideas.
In this context, a common pattern in five recent cases illustrates how the U.S. government and media systematically deceive the public on critical foreign policy issues, to generate public hostility toward foreign governments and to suppress domestic opposition to economic sanctions and to the threat and use of military force.
1. Non-Existent WMDs in Iraq. ……..
Calling out foreign nations on weak evidence is an essential core element of US propaganda strategy. US officials quickly and loudly establish the narrative they want the public to believe, and leave it to the echo chamber of the complicit US media system to do the rest.
US officials believe they can win a global propaganda war, much as they think they won the Cold War. But they seem to be losing the global struggle for hearts and minds… As the lies that clothe our emperor and our empire become ever more transparent, Americans are inevitably growing more skeptical than ever of politicians and the media.
Nicolas Lambert prepared this play about nuclear for seven years, poring over heaps of articles and books, visiting nuclear power plants, attending public debates on the EPR reactor proposed for Penly, meeting union leaders, intermediaries, militants, corporate spokespersons for Areva and EDF—and then March 11, 2011: Fukushima.
A Radiant Future: A Stage Play about France’s Nuclear History Nuclear Free by 2045? By Dennis 15 Jan 15, (translation by Dennis) Two months before Charlie Hebdo became a famous name, I came across a youtube video of the French actor Nicolas Lambert performing his play Avenir Radieux (A Radiant Future). It was just a short clip, and it seems no other video recording was made of it, but I was intrigued. I ordered the book, read it, then contacted the publisher to ask if I could take it on as a translation project. The translation will be finished soon, so this is some advance publicity for the English edition. I’m not an agent for the publisher, but if someone out there in the publishing world is interested, they can contact me and I will put them in touch with the publisher (Editions L’Echappée, Paris) or the author. Part 1 is a review that appeared in Charlie Hebdo’s special nuclear edition in 2012, written by one of the persons injured in the January 7th shootings. Part 2 is the promotional blurb from the French edition.
Review of A Radiant Future translated from French published in The Nuclear Swindle (L’Escroquerie Nucléaire), special edition of Charlie Hebdo, September 2012.
The Seditious Theater of Nicolas Lambert by Fabrice Nicolino
Nicolas Lambert invented a new genre that could be called investigative theater. In A Radiant Future: A French Fission he lights up the nuclear lobby while keeping the audience laughing……… Continue reading
Slain cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were allies of anti-nuclear movement http://www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2015/1/8/slain-cartoonists-at-charlie-hebdo-were-allies-of-anti-nucle.html We pause today to remember those slain at the French satirical news magazine Charlie Hebdo. Several of the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdowere close allies of the French anti-nuclear movement, even providing cartoons to the French anti-nuclear network, “Sortir du nucléaire.”
Stéphane Charbonnier, its editor in chief, drew many cartoons lampooning the nuclear industry. (One
example is pictured at right. It reads: “What could one do without nuclear? Live.”) Charb, as he was known by his pen name, participated in opposition to both nuclear power and nuclear weapons. He was among the 12 killed.
Another Hebdostaffer, Fabrice Nicolino, who was wounded but we are told will survive, was the author of the brilliant special edition of Charlie Hebdo focusing on nuclear power and called The Nuclear Swindle (cover pictured left). In it, Nicolino, an author and environmental journalist, pointed out that nuclear power is a hold-up, with democracy as the spoils. The assassination of the 12 people atCharlie Hebdo, and the injuring of others, was also an assault on democracy. Tens of thousands rallied the same night in Paris and elsewhere, holding vigil for the victims and for freedom
http://nf2045.blogspot.jp/2015/01/charlie-hebdo-special-nuclear-swindle.html 12 Jan 15 As the French nation prepares for a massive rally in support of liberty and free speech in the wake of the January 7th murders, certain ironies cannot escape attention.
The entire political establishment will be out for this rally, yet they were all targets in the past of Charlie Hebdo’s pointed satire. Some of them voiced disgust and disdain when they were the targets, or they showed no interest in fixing the problems exposed in the journal. Good for them, I suppose, if they are now ready take criticism more seriously and pay free speech and democracy more regard.
Just in case anyone gets the impression that Charlie Hebdo did only crude satirical cartoons about religion, let’s remember that these jokers had the courage to take on all sacred cows, even the ones with Iodine 131 and Strontium 90 in their milk.
Below is the cover page of Charlie Hebdo’s special nuclear issue from 2012. The French original of the cover page and accompanying text is here. –(pictures are at sidebar on right of this Antinuclear page)
The full issue does not appear to be available in digital format.
The Nuclear Swindle: 70 Years of French Atomic Radiation
Charlie Hebdo Responds to Montebourg* Special Edition of Charlie Hebdo, September 2012
Survey respondents also voiced concern that surveillance by the U.S. government and “Five Eyes” partner countries (which include Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand) has damaged their reputation abroad and thus their ability to champion free expression and other human rights around the world
Fear of Government Spying ‘Chilling’ Writers’ Speech Worldwide ‘If writers avoid exploring topics for fear of possible retribution, the material available to readers—particularly those seeking to understand the most controversial and challenging issues facing the world today—may be greatly impoverished.‘ Common Dreams, by Lauren McCauley, staff writer 5 Jan 15
The report, Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers (pdf),found that more than half of the 800 writers surveyed think that mass government surveillance has “significantly damaged U.S. credibility as a global champion of free expression for the long term.”
Further, according to the survey, writers living in countries defined as “Free” by U.S.-based NGO watchdog Freedom House expressed an almost equal level of concern about surveillance as those living in countries defined as “Not Free” (75% and 80%, respectively), prompting notable levels of self-censorship.
“The levels of self-censorship reported by writers living in liberal democracies are astonishing, and demonstrate that mass surveillance programs conducted by democracies are chilling freedom of expression among writers,” the report notes. According to the survey, 34 percent of writers living in liberal democracies admitted to self-censoring, compared with 61 percent of writers living in authoritarian countries, and 44 percent in semi-democratic countries.
“Writers are reluctant to speak about, write about, or conduct research on topics that they think may draw government scrutiny. This has a devastating impact on freedom of information as well: If writers avoid exploring topics for fear of possible retribution, the material available to readers—particularly those seeking to understand the most controversial and challenging issues facing the world today—may be greatly impoverished.”
Survey respondents also voiced concern that surveillance by the U.S. government and “Five Eyes” partner countries (which include Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand) has damaged their reputation abroad and thus their ability to champion free expression and other human rights around the world…….
“Surveillance is insidious,” said Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN American Center. “While governments may intend these bulk collection programs to be used only to detect terrorist wrongdoing, people under surveillance change their behavior to avoid triggering scrutiny. Because the programs are so broad, they could affect billions of people whose sense of privacy and creative freedom is curtailed.”
The survey, conducted by non-partisan research firm the FDR Group, comes in advance of a full report to be released this spring. PEN hopes these results will inform public and Congressional debates on the future of mass surveillance. The group is calling for “the right to be free of unwarranted surveillance” to be made a “cornerstone of U.S. surveillance policy and practice.” In addition, PEN American proposes a number of legislative reforms, including allowing provisions of the Patriot Act to expire and ending surveillance programs carried out under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act and Executive Order 12333. http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/01/05/fear-government-spying-chilling-writers-speech-worldwide
Musical points to sinister nuclear implications, Japan Times, BY TOMOHIRO OSAKI OCT 28, 2014 A recent court-themed musical staged in Tokyo was, to say the least, an audacious dig at the contentious state secrets law scheduled to take effect in December.
Set several years after the law’s passage last December, the musical, performed last week in Nakano Ward by the social theater troupe Musical Guild Q, offered what its adviser said was a “fairly realistic” sneak peek into how the first-ever trial of violators of this law would play out. At the same time, it was also an attempt to sound the alarm about what critics of the law say is an attempt by the powers that be to retreat into a more controlled society like the one that existed during the Pacific War.
“The chief purpose of the musical was to alert the audience to the likelihood that after the law takes effect, even information that is vital to their everyday life can be unjustly taken away from them,” said veteran lawyer and rights activist Yuichi Kaido, who served as a special adviser for the show.
On trial during the musical, which is titled “The Secret Garden,” is a group of nine ordinary citizens………
the audience is gradually clued in to what the musical’s writer calls the secrets law’s “inseparable” connection with nuclear power, and its ulterior motive to help achieve Japan’s transformation into a nuclear weapons-capable nation………
lawyer Kaido says he hopes that a worried citizenry will continue to protest and do everything possible to show the government they oppose the law even after it takes effect on Dec. 10.
“I don’t want people to succumb to the law’s pressure, but continue to fight for their rights to access information they have every right to know about,” he said. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/10/28/national/musical-points-sinister-nuclear-implications/#.VFFjIiLF8nk
Tohoku Electric Power kicks up a stink about art display at publicity hall Asahi Shimbun, By HIDEAKI ISHIBASHI/ Senior Staff Writer 16 Oct 14, SENDAI–A solitary bulging black sandbag, a sprinkling of dirt on a solar panel and a dosimeter: As art installations go, the work on display at a venue here smacked more of a statement than anything else.
And it got the attention of Tohoku Electric Power Co., operator of the Green Plaza hall where the exhibit could be seen by passers-by.
The utility uses the hall to publicize its activities, as well as providing a venue for the public to mount exhibitions.
Tohoku Electric asked for the work to be temporarily removed on grounds that people looking in from the street might regard it as suspicious.
The dirt is from Fukushima Prefecture, site of the 2011 nuclear disaster. It has already been decontaminated of radiation. The installation was created by Takashi Murakami, who is also an associate professor of art education at Miyagi University of Education.
He should not be confused with the pop artist of the same name, who is internationally famous and has also been involved in charity efforts to assist victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
Artists from Japan and Canada organized an exhibition titled “Power To The People” to be held at the Green Plaza from Oct. 7 to 19. Murakami and the other artists said they wanted the exhibition to make visitors think about the future of energy from a neutral standpoint.
The artists chose the Green Plaza for their venue for the simple reason it is operated by an electric power company in the area most severely affected by the 2011 natural disasters.
“I tried to express the current situation in Fukushima where sand bags filled with dirt from decontamination work are stacked up everywhere,” Murakami said……….
The exhibition finally was opened to the public on Oct. 10, three days behind schedule.
In response to an inquiry from The Asahi Shimbun, Minamihaba explained why the work was moved and said, “It did not match the policy of managing the Green Plaza in order to provide citizens with a place for enrichment and relaxation.”…..
Murakami said, “Art is by nature multifaceted, so it can be not only comforting to people, but also disgusting to some. Tohoku Electric Power overreacted.” http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201410140032
In his latest book, Julian Assange brings some much-needed transparency to one of the most nebulous global corporations.
Wikileaks meets Surveillance Valley: An interview with Julian Assange Czech News Agency BY JOSEPH FLATLEY ON OCTOBER 12, 2014 “The problem,” says Julian Assange, is that “a lot of groups that would normally criticize Google, the nonprofits that are involved in the tech sector, are funded directly or indirectly by Google. Or by USAID. Or by Freedom House. Google and its extended network have significant patronage in the very groups that would normally be criticizing it.”…….
the coverage of the Ukrainian predicament is the worst journalistic failure since the Fukashima Disaster. Incidentally both journalistic failures involves nuclear power
Media Propaganda and the Ukraine Crises Paul Rogov, 25 Aug 14 “…… Western journalists write for corporate interests. It does not really matter who it is—The New York Times, The New Republic, The Economist, USA Today, CNN, or Fox— but the Western media it self is the entity that is aggravating the situation in the Ukraine.
By appealing to Western-led Eastern European, Eurasian and Russian scholars and American think-tanks and universities in hopes of the establishing lesser known “facts” about the Ukraine, corporate journalism often pounces on every opportunity or rumor or idea, so it can get its story out for the U.S.’s own benefit, having had met its deadlines.
The media was originally intended to critique the government and serve the people by giving them accurate, unbiased information. All an American needed was the facts. Commentary journalism, however, is different. It is a meta-journalism: a critique of itself.
Meta-journalism is in grave crisis. More than ever independent and free presses are needed to keep mainstream media, which seems to have merged with the U.S. State Department, in check.
A corporate journalist writes their article for their corporate sponsor—wanting to get their story off to his or her editor as quickly as possible— effectively perpetuating the U.S. Military Industrial Complex and explicitly propelling the idea of WWIII.
Now, with American academic-ideologues like Timothy Snyder, who writes articles like “The Battle of the Ukraine Means Everything” for The New Republic, it should be clear that this media dragon has many heads. Americans, in turn, have to lop off each one in order to deconstruct the propaganda that feeds the hysteria within the psyche of the average citizen……..
Western corporate Journalists are the creators of WWIII because they choose to bifurcate everything for the American people. Hawk versus Dove. Democrat versus Republican. NATO versus Russia. West verses East. Is there no way to be multipolar and live in a multipolar world? Western corporate media uses split screen techniques on television and broadcasts about complex political topics that cannot be resolved by two talking heads. They present only two points of view for just two ways of understanding American culture in under two minutes.
Whereas I do not remotely trust news coverage that comes from the Russian Federation, the Western coverage of the Ukrainian predicament is deplorable and dishonest, hysteria-arousing, sometimes pedestrian, uninformative, inaccurate and most of all, propaganda. Why? Because Western corporate journalists serve the U.S.’s Military Industrial Complex. Continue reading
Media Propaganda and the Ukraine Crises Paul Rogov, 25 Aug 14 “………..Coverage of the Ukrainian plight is cynical, if not insensitive. Many corporate journalists are simply uninformed about the region. Many of these journalists believe the war in the Ukraine will lead to “WWIII” and that it began with ousted former President Victor Yanukovych, when he fled on February 22nd. But this is incorrect.
The Ukrainian crises, an ethnic war of Slavic subjectivity, which began prior to the inception of the Soviet Union, extended through not one, but two World Wars, the collapse of a superpower and chaos of post-Soviet economies. In fact, it goes back to medieval times.
U.S. military analysts know, as NATO knows, that the entire Ukraine could be taken by Russian armed forces rather quickly. While the Ukraine conscripts its soldiers and security forces deteriorates in the Eastern region, the Ukrainian military are weak yet somehow mysterious “victorious” too—disembodied, yet possessing a well-guided singularity of purpose.
According to one article released on May 4th Fars News headlined “S. Arabia Relocating Takfiri Fighters from Syria to Ukraine.” Saudi Arabia sent extremist militants against Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters. An unidentified Arab security official told Fars News that:
“A large number of terrorist Takfiri fighters in Syria, who bear Saudi and Chechnian nationalities and receive financial and military backup from the Saudi intelligence agency, have been transferred to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on several planes to help the Ukrainian army in its fight against the pro-Russian population. The forces have been immediately dispatched to Kramatosk city in Eastern Ukraine, and are now fighting beside the Ukrainian army forces against the pro-Russians under the name of militias who support the government.”
On top of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Ukraine (which no Western journalist talks about), Western corporate media bungled what happened in Odessa. There is no disputing that a Ukrainian extremist, right-wing group called Right Sector set the fires in Odessa of Trade Union buildings that senselessly burned alive and killed innocent people, while the U.S. State Department issued no statement that the deaths were due to Ukrainian fascists.
The Western corporate media is a collective failure as it constantly fails to realize that the Ukraine has never been a true European country. The same Western corporate media always presumes the Ukraine wants to be in all of its articles, where Ukrainian independence is concerned. Just pick up any major U.S. periodical or rather read off the Internet the presupposed rhetoric the Western corporate media utilizes.
The only time the Ukraine was tied “gloriously” to Europe in any concrete way was by its collaboration with Nazi Germany.
Russia, not too long ago, proclaimed that Ukraine’s assault in Slovyansk ended the chance for peace. Heads of State, Putin and Obama, as well as journalists are issuing statements and journalists are not citing their sources. This brings us to the issue of how the mainstream media is going to spin us right into a world war.
The questions that should be asked are numerous, but some examples would be: Who broke the story first that the Ukraine was heading for war? Who shot who first? Who burned alive who first? Isn’t it convenient how a right-wing coup occurred after “a democratically elected election”? Any form of slaughter in this case (and the prospects of U.S. or NATO involvement) is ridiculous and evil. How many more photos does one need to see of corpses for us to understand that the U.S. is in the shadows?
The Western corporate media have managed to evade talk of the money and the resources necessary for the Ukraine to even be considered a member of the E.U. and have totally hopped over the fact that the Ukraine’s ousted President Viktor Yanukovich secured “a $15 billion bailout from Russia in December 17th, 2013, offering respite for an economy heading ever closer to default but also drawing accusations he has sold his country out to its former Soviet master.”
The Ukrainian government is just as corrupt as its Russian counterpart, yet the U.S. government and the mainstream media does not seem to understand that the political and economic weakness of Ukraine itself. The Ukraine’s inability to put its house in order is a result of inner tensions within the political climate of the Ukraine……http://paulrogov.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/media-propaganda-and-the-ukraine-crises/
New series ‘Manhattan’ to explore implications of nuclear age NEWS 3 JULY 25, 2014, BY ADAM HAMMOND, “……MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE SECRET RACE TO CREATE THE FIRST NUCLEAR WEAPONS BEFORE OUR ENEMIES.
Every Sunday night, tune in to WREG as ‘Manhatten’ takes you back to the Cold War and the race for atomic and nuclear weapons.
“At its heart, this is not a show about nuclear physics or even history. This is a show about the complications in the lives of people doing their very best to try and get by in a really complicated circumstance,” said series creator Sam Shaw.
In today’s society, there’s another race involving nuclear material: how to get rid of it, and who should be responsible.
Mississippi is one of several states proposing a nuclear waste facility.
It would store and recycle the dangerous material in the southern part of the state. While the project would bring in lots of cash, environmentalists are worried about the dangers that come with it.
Actor John Benjamin Hickey says the concern shows how much America changed in the last 70 years when nobody even knew about the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
“The fact that we could build a town in the middle of the country and no one knew what we were doing is an interesting look back at our not-so-distant history,” said Hickey.
The set in Santa Fe is actually 45 minutes from Los Alamos where the Manhattan project took place, and before it was turned into a television set, it was a real hospital where some of the scientists, their families and the troops were treated if they had medical emergencies.
Environmentalist fear future emergencies due to possible nuclear waste plant in Mississippi.
The show also focuses on the secrets governments keep, and that’s something producer and director Thomas Schlamme says is still happening…..
“We were just reading the paper today about Wikileaks and Edward Snowden and the NSA and transparency and what you should know and whenever you talk about those things, it leads right back here to the desert in 1943 where all this took place,” said Schlamme.
Series star Daniel Stern also feels the show brings to light questions everyone should at least consider.http://wreg.com/2014/07/25/new-series-manhattan-to-explore-implications-of-nuclear-age/
STUDY: US Reporters Use More Weasel Words in Covering Climate Change, Mother Jones,A new paper finds that our journalists are constantly hedging on a scientifically settled issue—considerably more so than reporters in Spain.By Chris Mooney Jun. 3, 2014 It’s no secret that different countries have different densities, so to speak, of global warming denial. In particular, English-language speaking nations like the US and the UK tend to be relative denialist hotbeds, and their media include a considerable amount of global warming skepticism. By contrast, media researchers have found that in Spanish-speaking countries like Mexico and Chile, as well as in European nations, journalists tend to cast much less doubt on climate research.
And now, a new paper captures the US media’s relative discomfort with climate science in a new way: By comparing the preponderance of words that suggest scientific uncertainty about climate change in two US newspapers, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, with the concentration in two Spanish ones, El País and El Mundo. The study, by Adriana Bailey and two colleagues at the University of Colorado-Boulder, is just out in the journal Environmental Communication. It finds a considerably greater concentration of such uncertainty-evoking words in the US papers in their 2001 and 2007 coverage of two newly released reports from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The study contained several other troubling findings as well. As suggested by the figure at right, the total “epistemic density” of US articles in actually increased from 2001 to 2007, even as scientific uncertainty about climate science declined. “Contrary to expectation, we saw increases in hedging, or constant amounts of hedging, in all four papers we analyzed,” says Bailey.
Here’s why that’s so odd. This was, after all, the period in which the IPCC went from saying it is “likely” that humans are driving global warming, to saying it is “very likely.” Yet hedging was more prevalent in the latter time period, not less. What’s more, it looks as though the increase in hedging words in US papers from 2001 to 2007 occurred solely at the New York Times—where it grew from 141 words in 10,000 to 297 in 10,000—even as the Wall Street Journal did not show a change over time (236 words versus 235 words per 10,000). (The study did not examine how papers covered the 2013 release of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, which jacked up the scientific certainty even further.)
While the American reactor industry continues to suck billions of dollars from the public treasury, its allies in the corporate media seem increasingly hesitant to cover the news of post-Fukushima Japan. In reality, those gutted reactors are still extremely dangerous. An angry public, whose children are suffering, has thus far managed to keep all other nukes shut in Japan. If they keep them down permanently, it will be a huge blow to the global nuke industry—one you almost certainly won’t see reported in the American corporate media. Fukushima Is Still a Disaster Truth Dig, Harbey Wasserman 3 June 14 The corporate media silence on Fukushima has been deafening even though the melted-down nuclear power plant’s seaborne radiation is now washing up on American beaches. Ever more radioactive water continues to pour into the Pacific. At least three extremely volatile fuel assemblies are stuck high in the air at Unit 4. Three years after the March 11, 2011, disaster, nobody knows exactly where the melted cores from Units 1, 2 and 3 might be. Amid a dicey cleanup infiltrated by organized crime, still more massive radiation releases are a real possibility at any time. Radioactive groundwater washing through the complex is enough of a problem that Fukushima Daiichi owner Tepco has just won approval for a highly controversial ice wall to be constructed around the crippled reactor site. No wall of this scale and type has ever been built, and this one might not be ready for two years. Widespread skepticism has erupted surrounding its potential impact on the stability of the site and on the huge amounts of energy necessary to sustain it. Critics also doubt it would effectively guard the site from flooding and worry it could cause even more damage should power fail. Continue reading
Manga depiction of nosebleed spurs debate on radiation health risks CTV News, Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press May 19, 2014 TOKYO — A journalist finds his nose doesn’t stop bleeding after visiting the meltdown-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. He also learns others suffer similar symptoms.
The scene from popular manga comic “Oishinbo,” published last month, has set off a hot public debate in Japan — a nation still traumatized by the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chornobyl.
Local governments immediately protested the comic, saying it fosters unfounded fears of radiation.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe chimed in over the weekend, reassuring the public there was no proof of a link between radiation and such illnesses. “The government will make the best effort to take action against baseless rumours,” he said.
Undeterred by the ruckus, Tokyo-based publisher Shogakukan added a special 10-page segment to weekly Big Comic Spirits magazine, published Monday, featuring criticism it had received as well as opinion from radiation experts.
Editor Hiroshi Murayama acknowledged he had been unsure about publishing the manga, subtitled “The Truth of Fukushima,” because he anticipated people would be offended. But he had decided that voice needed to be heard, he said.
“We hope the various views on the latest ‘Oishinbo’ will lead to a constructive debate into assessing our future,” he said in the special segment.
“Oishinbo,” a hit series usually about gourmet food, which began in the 1980s, will be discontinued temporarily in the magazine. But the publisher said that had been the plan even before the controversy. It is not clear when it will run again………..
Scientists say there is no exact safe limit to low dose radiation. A causal link to any individual’s disease is hard to prove, given the varieties of carcinogens and other risks in the environment.
Fukushima is monitoring the health of its residents, and carrying out thyroid checks on those ages 18 and under.
Seventy-five confirmed and suspected cases of thyroid cancer have been found in those tests, but it is unclear whether they are linked to radiation.
A group of Fukushima residents, who say they have suffered dizzy spells and nosebleeds since the disaster, came out last week in defence of “Oishinbo.” They said through their lawyer that they will speak out in Tokyo, but on condition of anonymity, perhaps wearing a traditional demon’s mask to protect themselves against ostracism and other social backlash over going public with fears about radiation.
In the final scenes of the Fukushima episodes of “Oishinbo,” the characters — drawn in trademark manga style with big eyes — talk about how they must save Fukushima. But they decide that the best way is to urge people living with radiation to have the courage to get out, with the help of the government.
Tetsu Kariya, the writer of “Oishinbo,” did not immediately respond to requests for an interview. But he said on his blog earlier this month that the intensity of the outrage set off by the nosebleed scene was unexpected.
Having researched Fukushima for two years, he was not about to write that Fukushima was safe and all was well — even if that may be what people wanted to hear.
“I can only write the truth,” he said. http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/manga-depiction-of-nosebleed-spurs-debate-on-radiation-health-risks-1.1828017#ixzz32JOTbOhy
THE HALF-CENTURY ANNIVERSARY OF “DR. STRANGELOVE” New Yorker, BY DAVID DENBY 14 May 14 “Mein Führer, I can walk!” screams Dr. Strangelove (Peter Sellers), the ex-Nazi nuclear scientist, rising from his wheelchair to salute the American President at the climax of “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Stanley Kubrick’s satirical masterpiece is now a half century old (Film Forum will be playing a new 35-mm. print starting this Friday), and it remains as outrageously prankish, juvenile, and derisive as ever. Which, given the subject of nuclear annihilation, is exactly right. The movie is an apocalyptic sick joke: the demented general Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden), who thinks the Commies are using fluoridation to destroy his bodily fluids (he withholds his essence from women), dispatches a group of B-52s loaded with H-bombs to destroy Soviet targets. President Merkin Muffley (Sellers again) tries to recall them; he even helps the Soviet Union to destroy some of the planes. But, after all sorts of misadventures, one B-52 gets through, setting off a Soviet-built Doomsday Machine—chained nuclear explosions assembled in a stunningly beautiful montage, accompanied by Vera-Ellen singing the tender ballad “We’ll Meet Again (Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When).”……….
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- RARE EARTHS
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual