I read this article, and since all I've ever known is America, I was wondering what is it like in other countries? All our media shows us is wars, bombings and sweatshops.
Also, are there any online news sites that could be recommended? I no longer bother watching the news on TV, it is obviously biased at best. I'd especially like to be able to read about advances in medicine. I know for a fact American medicine is held up by greed (I know researchers who have shared some breakthroughs they made but cannot release because their sponsors have no way to profit from them), and I'm curious how the rest of the world fairs.
truthout.org and counterpunch.org are good news sites. I also like maxkeiser.com for financial news; the second half of his shows are informative, and the first half is quirky entertainment.
There is ONLY one totally reliable source of accurate, unbiased news and science in the U.S. - PBS! That’s why Romney and the Republicans want to kill it.
Another pretty good news source is al Jazeera, but Americans have been brainwashed into believing it is anti-American. It isn't. It merely reports what it sees. Like the 7 year old, naked child it photographed in Fallujah, covered with horribly painful red blisters from the illegal white phosphorous bombs brave American pilots dropped on his home. Mercifully, he died shortly after the picture was taken. But that picture was largely censored from U.S. media, and al Jazeera offices were subsequently bombed because they dared show it to the rest of the world.
If you are interested in science & medicine, DO NOT watch the National Geographic Channel, The Discovery Channel, or TLC (The Lunatic Channel). All three of these cable channels provide some good programs, but a lot of pseudoscientific and downright batcrap crazy paranormal nonsense, as well. And they don’t bother to let you know which is which. Can you believe it? Millions of credulous, gullible Americans tune in every week to watch a few aluminum-hatted crackpots stumble around in dark forests NOT finding bigfoot. And a supposedly educated teacher friend told me about how she saw on TV that they’ve discovered that mermaids really existed. I believe she saw it on Nat Geo. The scariest part? These idiots are allowed to VOTE! The latest insanity is "Long Island Medium." I don't think Theresa Caputo would want to read MY mind.
For science, your best bets are “NOVA” and “Nature” on PBS.
For history, the documentary films of Ken and Ric Burns - again on PBS - are among the best ever produced. Why don't you see them on NBC, CBS, or ABC? Because they just might tell some truths that Proctor & Gamble don't want you to know. If lying propaganda is your cup of tea, watch "Fox News."
The Republicans are desperate to find a way to kill off PBS, because it tells the truth instead of propagating the self-aggrandizing American mythology presented, not only by the corporate media, but by elementary and secondary history books.
Do you want a great example of what I’m talking about?
Are you aware that this is the bicentennial year of the War of 1812? Bet you weren’t. Why is that, especially since it gave us our revered National Anthem? It’s a war anniversary hardly noticed, much less celebrated in the U.S. because if we did, it might force the REAL story to become widely disseminated. Instead, American students are fed American exceptionalist propaganda, like the Johnny Horton piece of tuneful jingosim, “The Battle of New Orleans.”
American children are taught in the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades that the War of 1812 was fought to prevent the British from seizing American sailors on the high seas. It wasn’t. American schoolchildren believe that we defeated the British in that war when Andrew Jackson won a small battle against them in 1814. We didn’t.
But that war IS being celebrated in Canada, where it is known as a great victory in the War Against America, NOT the War of 1812.
What REALLY happened was that some American politicians (what we call today “neocons,” “warmongers,” and “chickenhawks”) decided to attack, defeat, and annex Canada for the U.S. They launched three uprovoked invasions and were soundly defeated, mostly by Canadian militia, all three times. The British got involved by sending a few troops to help protect Canada. Had they not been in a major war with France at the time, they might well have taken back the territory they had lost a quarter century earlier. The British troops quickly chased the Americans out of Washington and nearly succeeded in burning down the entire capital. They withdrew, however - not because of American military prowess - because of bad weather.
And don’t get me started on the war against Mexico. That, like nearly ALL American wars, was fought in the name of “Manifest Destiny” - the euphemistic label attached to the almost uninterrupted, two-century obsession of wealthy Americans to conquer the world. It’s presented in the history books all American children read as almost a divine right of American expansionism. They don’t tell school children in the U.S. that almost ALL of America’s wars were started BY AMERICA for the purpose of extending its political, cultural, and economic hegemony, worldwide. They never utter the word, "imperialism."
American history books proudly depict Teddy Roosevelt and his glory-bound "Roughriders" charging valiantly up San Juan Hill in Cuba. What they don't tell you is that they met almost no resistance - that this was a war against Spain instigated entirely for the purpose of stealing Spain's many possessions, worldwide.
The rest of the world knows all of this and watched it play out most recently in Iraq. But American school children and viewers of American commercial media are kept ignorant, because the truth doesn't advance either the American heroic narrative or the acquisitive goals of its economic elite.
I admit, part of the reason I never got too deep into history (other than my inability to remember dates), is because history books are written by the victors, so of course everything I read is going to be biased. I find myself more interested in learning about history as I get older, and hear stories. I guess I'm more interested in anecdotal stories than broad generalizations.
So much of what PBS does, conflicts directly with theist philosophy - the NOVA series telling the world the Universe is billions of years old, programs about dinosaurs and life on earth millions of years ago - kinda negates the world being created in six days. An uninformed public is far more easily led - ask any Redneck voting for Romney, who, if elected, will steal him blind.
Nah..that's not what really happened...you see, we had proof that the Canadians had weapons of mass destruction. Don't misunderestimate me..fool me once, shame on...well, whatever.
I find a steady diet of PBS most satisfying. NOVA, Frontline, and others are all eagerly gobbled up. Best part - NO COMMERCIALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Agreed, NOVA is awesome!
Between you and me, I'm thinkin' that Big Bird oughta get the gang together - Elmo, Oscar, the Cookie Monster, the Count, Bert & Ernie, the whole gang - and go after Mitt Romney!
Now that is something I'd pay to see!
Australia is sometimes called little-America because we generally follow in America's footsteps.
Well, please don't become too materialistic. I liked Austalia last time I was there.
Hi @ Jennifer,
I agree that Al Jazeera and the BBC (or CBC in Canada) provide a nice global perspective. I like The Atlantic and The Economist as news sources, as well as The Guardian. AllAfrica is a nice consolidation of English-language African news. Spiegel is OK for the German perspective.
I use a news consolidator app for my general reading (currently Zite which has been bought out by FlipBook). These apps scan a broad array of open news sites and "learn" your preferences over time.
Some funders require lay summaries for medical research; for example the UK Clinical Trials Gateway posts lay summaries of recently completed clinical trial research, written by the research teams. The U.S. National Library of Medicine does something similar through MedlinePlus.
Aside from sites like that I personally cringe at all popular press reporting of science, because it's almost universally bad. Some old warhorses like Scientific American, Science News, Science Daily are OK. I've heard reasonable things about Phys.org , which is also very helpful because it provides links directly to the original research article DOI.