Wednesday, 11 January 2017

AR-15, the terrorists weapon of choice (according to the Book of Hollywood)

It's not really, that honour befalls to the AK-47 for all sorts of reasons (cheap, hardy, available).

Hollywood however, thinks otherwise and wants movie go-ers to associate the AR-15 with terrorists, or at least "the enemy" or "bad guy/s".

How so?

Captain America: Civil War.

About 5 minutes into the opening sequence as some of the Avengers engage "The Terrorists" (attacking a subsidiary of the UN), Captain America makes an assessment of the situation after knocking a few heads together with the following;
Captain America: "Body armour, AR-15's"
He doesn't say; "Body armour ... assault rifles", " ... assault weapons", "... custom weapons", or some other fancy but generic term meaning 'high-tech weaponry'. (which would make more sense considering who they happen to be fighting - not an 'off-the-shelf combat unit).

No, the script writers have Captain America specifically say "AR-15's".

Why?

There's only one reason that oddly specific detail appears, especially when just about anything else, or nothing at all, would make just as much sense (the viewer only needs to understand the scenario as 'bad guys firing machine guns at good guys'), and that's as a 'subliminal', a not-so-subtle but intentionally placed message, in this instance one that reinforces the politicised narrative that "AR-15 is a weapon of terror", that "only bad guys use AR-15's", or more generally 'guns' are (a message that's more than a wink and nod to Obama's 'Town Hall' comments on keeping "assault weapons" out of criminals hands).

P.S. only caught this the second time round watching the movie.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Narrative over Facts Part Deux! (the flying chicken)

Sigh, okay, here's another one;

Claim
1995: Hillary delivers a historic speech in front of the UN, announcing: "human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights once and for all."
Contrasting claim
After becoming owner of the Miss Universe Organization, Trump says that he will make contestants' "bathing suits... smaller" and "heels... higher."
The first point to note on this particular comparison is the overt misandry on display; that Clintons "fight" for "women's rights" is not at all comparable to a beauty pageant. The comparison implies Trump is at least sexist, if not an outright misogynist, for his comments being seen to be an objectification of the contestants. And worse yet, that the contestants, by participating, were/are not the right kind of women, they're not women like Clinton, i.e., women that don't pander to men, making her 'fight' all the more difficult for other women.

A bit of a stretch perhaps, but the basic premise is there, not even implied, or to be read between the lines, that Miss Universe contestants do nothing to advance the cause of women's rights, whilst Clinton was/has/is/does [delete appropriate responses].

This is outright misandry as it denies the pageant participants their agency, their personhood, their ability to make individual choices, decisions, actions for themselves and by themselves, with their own goals and motivations. In essence the rhetoric denies the individualism of each womAn in favour of womEn.

Fact Checking as a False Narrative

Aside from outright political propaganda (to use that word), its all a game of semantics, of misrepresenting facts and information, of 'spin' and the creation of a favourable impression or presentation. The 'truth' as it is said, is usually the first casualty...
"2002: Hillary passes legislation in the aftermath of 9/11 to help first responders receive the care they deserved. She pushed the EPA and Bush Administration to investigate the health impacts of air quality downtown."
Mostly True

Hillary Clinton, then New York Senator "took a leading role in investigating the health issues faced by 9/22 first responders, ultimately winning the first federal appropriations for medical monitoring of 9/11 Responders". She did not in fact "help first responders receive the care they deserved", but instead secured funding to put a monitoring network in place ostensibly for keeping track of concerns associated with dust inhalation from the 'pile'.

Whilst this may seem a sematic rebuttal (argument over differences in wording), the original statement nonetheless still misrepresents the facts.

The reality of the situation was one of a relatively newly appointed New York Senator (sworn in Jan 2001) looking to establish herself as a progressive leader, one, well before 9/11, already determined to make her way to the Whitehouse, some going so far as to suggest, reading between the lines, the 'help' offered in the form of the Legislation may have been a smokescreen for having Wall Streets' back.

The initiative is also in stark contrast to the support her career and now campaign is said to have received from Saudi Arabia through the Clinton Foundation, one of the leading Nations alleged to have been behind the 9/11 attacks, whilst simultaneously being critical of the Country and others similarly donating funds.

• • •

Counter-claim
"Trump hires an architect for Trump National Golf Club’s clubhouse—who he would go on to stiff out of more than $100,000, despite saying he was extremely pleased with the work."
Mostly True

The facts are that after the job was completed Trump engaged in "after-the-fact renegotiations" to cut costs associated with the project, not at all uncommon in business, construction especially - "Tesoro: Although I resent that he shorted me a huge amount of money, his organization does that to everybody. At the time I could see [...] all subjected to an after-the-fact renegotiation challenge. I didn’t take it personally."

Whilst this again is a sematic rebuttal it's important to recognise the tone impugned by the quoted statement, that Trump is just a bad person. Which further speaks to the themes used as a contrast and compare, that Clinton is caring and emotive (health, concerns after tragedy), Trump cold and business like (money, stiff, unfair).


Not doing any more of these, as can be seen from just this single entry from HillaryClinton.com, the rabbit hole each of these compare and contrast 'cards' opens up is a bottomless pit of manipulation, of fact spinning and misdirection of the highest order.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Zika 'outbreak' in Miami, Florida

The Florida Department of Health has gathered enough information as part of its ongoing investigation into non-travel related cases of Zika in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to conclude that a high likelihood exists that four cases are the result of local transmission. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Zika & FEMALE sexual transmission

The "First female-to-male sexual transmission of Zika virus infection reported in New York City" is important to note for a couple of interesting, and seemingly tangential, reasons; 1) reveals the misandrist overtones of press and media that hitherto all but 'blamed' spread of the disease on men. 2) further exposes the equally misandrist language suggesting women were previously unable to spread the disease because they don't engage in 'male' behaviours (hidden code for 'aggressive', 'warlike' and other synonyms associated with 'maleness'), rather than due to biological inhibitions. 3) that women are now openly documented as a vector of infection (although press coverage of this fact was and is limited/suppressed).

It's ALI SONBOLY, not DAVID S.

It's astonishing how many news outlets are actively and intentionally white-washing the Munich teenage "Ali Sonboly" by instead calling him "David S" (German press especially). It's a deliberate attempt to minimise what might otherwise be considered natural, if somewhat reflexive, assumptions about the boy based on his Arabic sounding name.

It's also an astonishing example of actual racism, of dehumanising, or perhaps de-culturalising the boy - a disavowal of his true name and cultural identity/roots, a kind of posthumous bullying similar to what he appears to have suffered at the hands of contemporaries when alive (the DailyMail suggest he was bullied by similarly ethnic individuals).

If ever there were a need to example the so-called progressive media caring more for narrative and issues rather than facts (individuals), this would be it.