A telling example of how the media works

Journalists and editors often get highly offended when it is suggested that they serve as the mouthpieces of the owners of the media institutions they work for. They protest that they write what they want to write about and that no one censors them or tells them to slant the reporting in a particular way. But as Noam Chomsky and Edward Hermann pointed out in their brilliant analysis Manufacturing Consent (1988), that kind of explicit direction is not necessary. It is even counter-productive because such tightly controlled information systems are clearly seen as what they are, propaganda. To be truly effective as propaganda, those generating it have to believe that what they are saying is of their own volition, and this is why the western media works far better as a propaganda system than media where the state runs it.
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100 years of sandwiches

The invention of the sandwich, of putting stuff between two slices of bread, is credited to the fourth Earl of Sandwich John Montagu (1718-1792) though this is one of those things where the claim of being the first has to be taken with a huge grain of salt since the idea of using some kind of bread as a wrapper for other foods dates back much farther. But for whatever reason, justified or not, his name is associated with it.
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I am just about fed up with this election

I can’t stand it. This election has reached a stage where, for me at least, the sheer shallowness of the campaign and coverage has become so sickening that I can barely stand reading election news any more. All we seem to see and read about are surrogates trash talking in the media and getting smacked down in turn by the online commentariat. Even the comedians are losing their appeal for me which is the real sign that I am just sick of it all
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Let us salute those who are willing to stand alone for what is right

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and elsewhere and there were many commemorations of that somber occasion. But it is also good to remember that it generated a period of mass fear and hysteria in the US that has resulted in endless, cruel, and needless wars, and accelerated a massive increase in the powers of the national security state and severe erosions on people’s privacy and civil liberties, all in the name of fighting terrorism.
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Haste makes waste

Breakfast cereals are not for everyone. I myself rarely eat them, mainly because I find I get tired of it after a couple of days. Also, the cereal I eat when I do choose to do so is corn flakes that requires adding sugar and I am not a fan of eating sweet things in the morning. But what surprised me was this story that said that many younger people are turning away from cereal because it takes too much work.
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How dogs watch TV

This article says that what dogs see when they watch TV is different from humans.

This research indicates that dogs have a preference towards watching other canines – but our studies have also discovered that sound often initially attracts dogs towards television and other devices. Favoured sounds include dogs barking and whining, people giving dog-friendly commands and praise, and the noise of toys squeaking.

How dogs watch TV is very different to the way humans do, however. Instead of sitting still, dogs will often approach the screen to get a closer look, and walk repeatedly between their owner and the television. They are essentially fidgety, interactive viewers.
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How Edward Snowden escaped from Hong Kong

In a long article that appeared in the Canadian National Post, two Hong Kong lawyers Robert Tibbo and Jonathan Man describe how they hid Snowden from the Hong Kong and US authorities and the media while they devised ways to get him to safety. This story has not been told until now and it is timed to coincide with the release of the Oliver Stone film Snowden that premiered yesterday at the Toronto International Film Festival and goes into general release on Thursday, September 15.
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