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Daily Pickings is a blog on issues and events related to the work of the Critical Thinking project and invariably references videos, articles, books and academic papers. Accumulation of these materials adds to the "Critical Thinking reference library". Use the search facility to find articles on specific topics or you can browse the titles of every Dailly Pickings article since inception via the Site Map for which you need to be registered.
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BBC and the public interest

90% of media in the US is owned by just six corporations and is similarly concentrated elsewhere. These corporations form part of the web of power which dominates business, trade, politics and an increasing part of our lives from healthcare to education and the penal system - there are few aspects of modern life in the western world untouched by the despotic hand of this web of power.

Media is the tool of persuasion and control which incites fear of the "other" and manufactured threats. It is Orwellian propaganda, the purpose of which is to sell lies, sell more stuff and keep the population passive.

Today's march against mainstream media (MSM) is not to change it - it will not change and the protests are unlikely to gain much airtime, irrespective of how many people demonstrate their outrage. It is to broaden awareness that we are lied to on a daily basis. Turn off the TV, cancel your newspaper and search elsewhere for news and information.

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Man-made typhoon hits Philippines?

Media and climate change pundits were quick to blame man-made global warming for the devastating typhoon which hit the Philippines last weekend. The data, however, show no correlation between the incidence of typhoons and global temperature, irrespective of the cause of warming in the late 20th century. Nor does the 2012 SREX report from the IPCC show any meaningful relationship between global temperatures and extreme weather.

Some historical perspectives on Typhoon Haiyan-Yolanda

Many of the media reports in the immediate aftermath were full of hyperbole in respect of wind speeds, suggesting the ferocity of the storm was unprecedented but it transpires that the wind speeds were not exceptional. That is not to underplay the human suffering caused by the storm but we shouldn't let heartfelt sympathy for the plight of the affected communities cloud our judgement as to whether such phenomena could be averted or have been aggravated by man's activity.

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Showdown

Effective dissent requires knowledge of what is happening and the means to bring it to people's attention. Those working towards an Orwellian system of control have, until recently, had the upper hand but as more people stand against the narrative of the ruling elites, the potential grows for a return to sanity.

Individuals in the vanguard of dissent have paid a heavy price to date, losing freedom and being vilified as traitors or worse. Chelsea (née Bradley) Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden spring to mind but there are many, many more and they are growing in number. One such is Thomas Drake, NSA whistleblower, who a year ago faced incarceration. This is his speech to the US National Press Club. It is detailed and devastating in its critique of the erosion of assured rights under the American Constitution.

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club - 15th March 2013 (1 hour video)

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Poppies and Freedom

America's entry into World War I was sold to the American people with the message "to spread freedom and democracy". The burden of war reparations, imposed on the German people by the subsequent Treaty of Versailles, can't have felt much like freedom or democracy. Similarly today, it is hard to imagine Afghans, Iraqis or Libyans savouring their freedom or democracy.

Meanwhile, the hypocritical warmongers (Cameron, Blair, Hague et al) parade their sombre, scarlet symbols of British sensitivity while manipulating the nation and its young into illegal wars, turning us all into war criminals.

Poppycock – Or Why Remembrance Rituals Make Me See Red By Robert Fisk

The poppy helps us avoid a search for the meaning of war

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