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Leni Riefenstahl said her epic films glorifying the Nazis depended on a “submissive void” in the German public. This is how propaganda is done.

By John Pilger
Special to Consortium News

In the 1970s, I met one of Hitler’s leading propagandists, Leni Riefenstahl, whose epic films glorified the Nazis. We happened to be staying at the same lodge in Kenya, where she was on a photography assignment, having escaped the fate of other friends of the Fuhrer.
She told me that the “patriotic messages” of her films were dependent not on “orders from above” but on what she called the “submissive void” of the German public.

Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? I asked.  “Yes, especially them,” she said. 

I think of this as I look around at the propaganda now consuming Western societies. 

Of course, we are very different from Germany in the 1930s. We live in information societies. We are globalists. We have never been more aware, more in touch, better connected. 

Or do we in the West live in a Media Society where brainwashing is insidious and relentless, and perception is filtered according to the needs and lies of state and corporate power? 

The United States dominates the Western world’s media. All but one of the top 10 media companies are based in North America. The internet and social media – Google, Twitter, Facebook – are mostly American owned and controlled.

In my lifetime, the United States has overthrown or attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, mostly democracies. It has interfered in democratic elections in 30 countries. It has dropped bombs on the people of 30 countries, most of them poor and defenceless. It has attempted to murder the leaders of 50 countries.  It has fought to suppress liberation movements in 20 countries. 

The extent and scale of this carnage is largely unreported, unrecognised, and those responsible continue to dominate Anglo-American political life.

Harold Pinter Broke the Silence

In the years before he died in 2008, the playwright Harold Pinter made two extraordinary speeches, which broke a silence.

“U.S. foreign policy,” he said, is

“best defined as follows: kiss my arse or I’ll kick your head in. It is as simple and as crude as that. What is interesting about it is that it’s so incredibly successful. It possesses the structures of disinformation, use of rhetoric, distortion of language, which are very persuasive, but are actually a pack of lies. It is very successful propaganda. They have the money, they have the technology, they have all the means to get away with it, and they do.”

………………………………… In our systems of corporate democracy, war is an economic necessity, the perfect marriage of public subsidy and private profit: socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor. The day after 9/11 the stock prices of the war industry soared. More bloodshed was coming, which is great for business.

Today, the most profitable wars have their own brand. They are called “forever wars” — Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and now Ukraine. All are based on a pack of lies.

……………………………….. At its summit in Madrid in June, NATO, which is controlled by the United States, adopted a strategy document that militarises the European continent, and escalates the prospect of war with Russia and China. It proposes “multi domain warfighting against nuclear-armed peer-competitor.” In other words, nuclear war.

…………………….. The news from the war in Ukraine is mostly not news, but a one-sided litany of jingoism, distortion, omission.  I have reported a number of wars and have never known such blanket propaganda. 

In February, Russia invaded Ukraine as a response to almost eight years of killing and criminal destruction in the Russian-speaking region of Donbass on their border. 

In 2014, the United States had sponsored a coup in Kiev that got rid of Ukraine’s democratically elected, Russian-friendly president and installed a successor whom the Americans made clear was their man. 

………………………………. On April 25, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin flew into Kiev and confirmed that America’s aim was to destroy the Russian Federation — the word he used was “weaken.” America had got the war it wanted, waged by an American bankrolled and armed proxy and expendable pawn.

Almost none of this was explained to Western audiences.

[Read:  Joe Lauria: Biden Confirms Why the US Needed This War]

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is wanton and inexcusable. It is a crime to invade a sovereign country. There are no “buts” — except one.


When did the present war in Ukraine begin and who started it? According to the United Nations, between 2014 and this year, some 14,000 people have been killed in the Kiev regime’s civil war on the Donbass. Many of the attacks were carried out by neo-Nazis. 

Watch an ITV news report from May 2014, by the veteran reporter James Mates, who is shelled, along with civilians in the city of Mariupol, by Ukraine’s Azov (neo-Nazi) battalion.

In the same month, dozens of Russian-speaking people were burned alive or suffocated in a trade union building in Odessa besieged by fascist thugs, the followers of the Nazi collaborator and anti-Semitic fanatic Stepan Bandera.  The New York Times called the thugs “nationalists.”

“The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment,” said Andreiy Biletsky, founder of the Azov Battaltion, “is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival, a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

Since February, a campaign of self-appointed “news monitors” (mostly funded by the Americans and British with links to governments) have sought to maintain the absurdity that Ukraine’s neo-Nazis don’t exist. 

Airbrushing, once associated with Stalin’s purges, has become a tool of mainstream journalism.

In less than a decade, a “good” China has been airbrushed and a “bad” China has replaced it: from the world’s workshop to a budding new Satan.  

Much of this propaganda originates in the U.S., and is transmitted through proxies and “think-tanks,” such as the notorious Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the voice of the arms industry, and by journalists such as Peter Hartcher of The Sydney Morning Herald, who has labeled those spreading Chinese influence as “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows” and suggested these “pests” be “eradicated.” 

News about China in the West is almost entirely about the threat from Beijing. Airbrushed are the 400 American military bases that surround most of China, an armed necklace that reaches from Australia to the Pacific and south east Asia, Japan and Korea. The Japanese island of Okinawa and the Korean island of Jeju are like loaded guns aimed point blank at the industrial heart of China. A Pentagon official described this as a “noose.”

Palestine has been misreported for as long as I can remember. ………………………………………………………………..

In recent years, some of the best journalists have been eased out of the mainstream. “Defenestrated” is the word used. The spaces once open to mavericks, to journalists who went against the grain, truth-tellers, have closed.  

The case of Julian Assange is the most shocking.  When Julian and WikiLeaks could win readers and prizes for The GuardianThe New York Times and other self-important “papers of record,” he was celebrated. 

When the dark state objected and demanded the destruction of hard drives and the assassination of Julian’s character, he was made a public enemy. Vice President Joe Biden compared him to a “hi-tech terrorist.” Hillary Clinton asked, “Can’t we just drone this guy?” 

The ensuing campaign of abuse and vilification against Julian Assange — the U.N. rapporteur on torture called it “mobbing” — brought the liberal press to its lowest ebb. We know who they are. I think of them as collaborators: as Vichy journalists

When will real journalists stand up? An inspirational samizdat  already exists on the internet: Consortium News, founded by the great reporter Robert Parry, Max Blumenthal’s  The GrayzoneMint Press News, Media Lens, DeclassifiedUK, Alborada, Electronic IntifadaWSWSZNetICH, CounterPunchIndependent Australia, the work of Chris Hedges, Patrick Lawrence, Jonathan Cook, Diana Johnstone, Caitlin Johnstone and others who will forgive me for not mentioning them here. 

And when will writers stand up, as they did against the rise of fascism in the 1930s? When will film-makers stand up, as they did against the Cold War in the 1940s? When will satirists stand up, as they did a generation ago? 

Having soaked for 82 years in a deep bath of righteousness that is the official version of the last world war, isn’t it time those who are meant to keep the record straight declared their independence and decoded the propaganda? The urgency is greater than ever.  https://consortiumnews.com/2022/09/07/john-pilger-silencing-the-lambs-how-propaganda-works/

September 8, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Trump’s Top-Secret Document Hoard Included Nuclear Weapons Data

William Rivers PittTruthout, September 7, 2022

Donald Trump now has at least 19 attorneys defending him in eight or more investigations, according to Politico. If the revelations keep piling up, that number could double in about as much time as it takes a box of bunny rabbits to breed. Finding that help won’t be easy, either; this is an area of the law that isn’t lousy with specific experts, and the ones available have this thing about getting paid.

Plus, the latest development in the saga would have most lawyers running for the hills.

“A document describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities, was found by FBI agents who searched former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and private club last month,” reports The Washington Post. “Some of the seized documents detail top-secret U.S. operations so closely guarded that many senior national security officials are kept in the dark about them. Only the president, some members of his Cabinet or a near-Cabinet-level official could authorize other government officials to know details of these special-access programs.”………………

“A fortress mindset feeds the U.S. government’s huge ‘defense’ budget — which is higher than the military budgets of the next 10 countries combined — while the Pentagon maintains about 750 military bases overseas,” author and activist Norman Solomon writes for Truthout. “But victimology is among Washington’s official poses, in sync with a core belief that the United States is at the center of the world’s importance and must therefore police the world to the best of its capacity.”

The core nature of secrets is their importance, which is why they are usually so well guarded, and why this latest Trump debacle has so many people freaked. …………………………

Understand: No intelligence body on the planet would gladly grant top-secret access to a person like Donald Trump. He is the living embodiment of an easily compromised individual, a walking blackmail target with debts on his debts. The only reason he got his hands on all that stuff is because the country went berserk and made him president, and presidents are automatically gifted top-flight clearance by dint of electoral victory.

Yet he remains Donald Trump, the blowhard desperate to hide the small fraction of a man within.

Even being president of the United States wasn’t enough to assuage his insecurity, so, perhaps, he surrounded himself with boxes of secret documents that made him feel whatever passes for powerful in his shriveled little soul.

Who knows what country those nuke documents were describing. Israel? China? Russia? Does it even matter at this juncture? Thanks to a million profit-driven war decisions made over the last 80 years, we exist within a wildly delicate latticework of perils that are mostly left over from the Cold War. Not our fault, but all our problem. https://truthout.org/articles/trumps-top-secret-document-hoard-included-nuclear-weapons-data/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=df913dd0-f214-4843-a78f-46849632c0c5

September 8, 2022 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Race Correction and the X-Ray Machine — The Controversy over Increased Radiation Doses for Black Americans in 1968

New England Journal of Medicine Itai Bavli, Ph.D.,  and David S. Jones, M.D., Ph.D.

In May 23, 1968, Howard Goldman, director of the New York Bureau of X-Ray Technology, acknowledged that x-ray technicians routinely exposed Black patients to doses of radiation that were higher than those White patients received.1 This practice, which adhered to guidelines from x-ray machine manufacturers, may have been widespread in the 1960s. Senate hearings held that month, as political unrest rocked the country, prompted public outcry and led to calls from state and federal officials to end the practice. Yet in the 21st century, despite growing interest in the problems of race and racism in medicine, race adjustment of x-rays has received little attention.2-6 It’s important to understand the origins of this practice, its rationales, its possible harms, and related controversies. The history shows how assumptions about biologic differences between Black and White people affected the theory and practice of medicine in the United States in ways that may have harmed patients. These insights can inform ongoing debates about the uses of race in medicine.7-10

………………………………….. despite recent attempts to mitigate the harmful effects of racial biases in medicine, race-based beliefs and practices, especially the use of racial categories, remain widespread.8 The history of race adjustment for x-ray dosing reveals how mistaken assumptions can be admitted into medical practices — and how those practices can be ended.

Racialization of the X-Ray

The discovery of x-rays in 1895 revolutionized medicine. It allowed doctors to diagnose and treat many medical problems more easily.22 The ability to image teeth also transformed dental care. However, as x-ray technology developed in the early 20th century, false beliefs about biologic differences between Black and White people affected how doctors used this technology.

Ideas about racial differences in bone and skin thickness appeared in the 19th century and remained widespread throughout the 20th.

………………………………… The belief that Black people have denser bones, more muscle, or thicker skin led radiologists and technicians to use higher radiation exposure during x-ray procedures.

…………………………………….. In the 1950s and 1960s, x-ray technologists were told to use higher radiation doses to penetrate Black bodies. Roentgen Signs in Clinical Diagnosis, published in 1956, described the radiographic examination of a Black person’s skull as a “technical problem” that required a modified technique……………………………..

Debate and Denial in the Senate

The practice of giving larger x-ray doses to Black patients was brought to national attention in May 1968, when the U.S. Senate held hearings about the Radiation Control for Health and Safety Act of 1968.27

………………………… At the hearings on May 15, Ralph Nader mentioned that technicians exposed Black patients to higher x-ray doses: “A practice widespread around the country is that by technologists and their supervisors giving Negroes one-fourth to one-half larger X-ray dosages than white patients because of a generalized intuition or folklore.”27 

…………………………………… Race classifications have traditionally been based on skin pigmentation and other superficial physical traits. One might have expected x-ray technologies, which see through the skin to deeper structures beneath, to be spared racialization. They were not. During the 20th century, radiologists and device manufacturers embedded racial assumptions in the basic practices of radiology. Nader, a consumer advocate working on radiation safety, exposed the practices of race adjustment to public scrutiny, triggering investigation and rapid action by federal and state officials and by physicians and device manufacturers. However, radiologists and technicians retained the ability to determine x-ray exposures. We do not know how long the practice of race adjustment actually endured……………………….. more https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMms2206281

September 8, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference, social effects | Leave a comment

Operator doubts German plan to keep nuclear plants on standby

Germany plans to delay closure of two nuclear power plants amid disruption to Russian gas deliveries to Europe.

Germany’s plans to delay the closure of two nuclear plants were thrown into confusion on Wednesday, with the operator of one saying the request to keep it on standby was not technically possible as the government said it had been misunderstood.

Berlin announced on Monday that it plans to keep two out of three remaining nuclear power stations on standby to have enough electricity through the winter.

The operator of one of the plants, E.ON, said on Wednesday that it believed it is not possible to put its Isar 2 facility in reserve mode beyond its scheduled closure at the end of 2022.

“We communicated on Monday evening that nuclear power plants are not suitable for reserve power plant operation for technical reasons,” said E.ON, adding it was in contact with the government on the issue………………………………

In January, the government called nuclear energy dangerous, objecting to EU proposals that would let the technology remain part of the bloc’s plans for a climate-friendly future. Its energy plan before was to switch off its remaining three nuclear power plants at the end of this year and phase out coal by 2030.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear-news.net may now be up and running again- here’s hoping.

I still want to pay the renewal fee for registering this site – hope to find out to whom to pay it.

I let nuclear.news.net renewal payment lapse -due Saturday 3rd Sept . Digital Business Media (Melbourne) expired it on Sunday 4th September , and would not accept renewal payment on Monday 5th September.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

German chancellor rejects calls to reverse nuclear power plant closures

Kate Connolly in Berlin, Thu 8 Sep 2022, Olaf Scholz says country has enough energy to get through winter after Russia cut gas supplies

The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has rejected calls for his government to commit to a longer-term extension of the life of the country’s nuclear power plants and insisted that Europe’s largest economy would have enough energy to get through the winter.

Scholz shut down criticism from the opposition conservative alliance and at least one leading economist, who have described his coalition’s decision to keep two remaining reactors in emergency reserve rather than letting them produce electricity, as “madness” while the government refuses to reverse its long-term plan to close down the last remaining plants…………….

The crisis, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has been exacerbated in recent weeks by Moscow’s reduction of gas supplies to Germany, which was followed a week ago by a complete halt. Moscow has cited maintenance issues linked to sanctions imposed by the west.

Scholz accused Friedrich Merz’s conservative alliance (CDU/CSU) of refusing to accept responsibility for its role in the crisis, calling it “the party which holds complete responsibility for the fact that Germany made decisions to withdraw both from coal and from atomic energy, but never had the strength to enter into anything else”. He also accused the conservatives of failing to embrace renewable energy and actively campaigning against it.

“You were incapable of bringing about the expansion of renewable energies. You led defensive battles against every single wind turbine,” he said. By trying now to save as much gas, electricity and oil as it can before winter kicks in – in part with the construction of LNG terminals and expanding renewable energy – Scholz said his government was “solving problems that the union failed to recognise as such when it was in power”.

Scholz said Germans would “rise above themselves” and deal with the coming winter with “with boldness and bravery” and said that Germany was close to its goal of becoming independent from Russian gas exports. Gas storage facilities were 86% full on Wednesday……………

On Monday Habeck had announced that two nuclear reactors would remain “on standby” supported by the necessary staff, equipment and security, but would not be producing electricity unless needed……………….

Amira Mohamed Ali, parliamentary leader of the far-left Die Linke, accused the coalition government of having “no social conscience”. She urged the government to approach Russia in an attempt to bring it to the negotiating table and end its hostilities in Ukraine.

The instability of nuclear power is one of the main reason for not relying on it, the economics ministry argued when it presented its plans on Monday. Currently only 28 of 56 plants in France are on the grid, due in part to the shortage of cooling water linked to this summer’s drought, meaning Germany has had to supply its neighbour with electricity.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment