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Mainstream Media Denial

Here’s what’s wrong with your anti mainstream media views.

First, the mainstream media is not one thing. It’s not a monolith that’s owned by one group or one dude. There are multiple companies all competing for your attention. They all have certain things in common and they all have flaws but they are not part of some liberal plot to make you ignore all the hidden plots or to make you miss what’s really happening.

They want your attention and they will do what they have to in order to keep you watching. That’s why more mainstream news doesn’t do as well as Fox. They do tend to have more journalistic standards, they don’t always tell people what they want to hear, they try (and sometimes fail) to present events and the facts surrounding them in the most verifiable and neutral way possible.

I’m not talking about editorials or opinion stories. I’m talking about the news, presented as it is, with verified facts, as neutrally as possible. This is another spot where the mainstream media fails to grab your attention the way that Fox grabs the attention of their viewers. They don’t editorialize in as blatant of a way. They are in the words of Donald Trump, the failing news, because young people and more left leaning people don’t get their news from television.

The news reflects the opinions of society in a lot of ways. They call black protestors thugs and they call white terrorists mentally ill lone gunmen, but they also have a set of journalistic standards that they follow and usually it ends up giving them the best set of facts available at the time that they report on something. If there’s a shooting then you can be pretty sure that CNN, MSNBC, or CBS will report what they know and they’ll wait until they know more before saying more. Fox, Rebel, and a whole host of online news sites spanning the field from left to right will often say much more and often they will find themselves wrong once the facts come out.

In one recent shooting among many, it was widely shared that members of Rebel Media made the claim that the assailant was a Muslim when in fact it turned out that it was another white guy. This isn’t by accident, they just don’t care the way that organizations that follow a standard of journalism do.

I’m not trying to say that they’re perfect. They make mistakes, they frame things badly, they’re very American centric and they are deeply rooted in the neoliberalism and capitalism that funds them, but they aren’t making shit up or engaging in coverups the way that some members of society seem to think.

I think that it’s actually a bit of a marketing ploy by news outlets and online personalities to make people doubt the quality of journalism that comes from some of these organizations. It makes some people seem more reliable if they can cast doubt on the media that makes them look like crazed conspiracy nuts. If Fox says there’s a caravan of immigrants invading America and CNN says that it’s a small caravan thousands of miles from the border, then Fox needs you to think that CNN is lying. They need you to be afraid and they need you tuning in. It feeds their ratings, it feeds their advertising, and it feeds the political ideology that they’re paid to push.

When someone online claims that the mainstream media isn’t telling people the whole truth, it’s because they’ve heard it from some other source that they trust more. They’re not thinking critically and though they imagine themselves to be the few who can tell the difference and who see what’s really going on they’re buying exactly what they’ve been told to buy.

We say in our intro music that a lie can travel a thousand miles while the truth is still putting on its shoes and that doesn’t play out anywhere as well as it does in the battle between right wing punditry and the “mainstream media”.  For every hour that Fox and the supposed alternative media outlets are on the air they can infest the world with dozens and dozens of little lies that work to turn regular people into angry, hateful, frightened zealots.

As with most things I don’t have a solution but I do think it’s important to remember that while the mainstream media isn’t perfect they are one of the barriers between us and a descent into authoritarianism.

What’s the deal with globalism?

So I’m sure that everyone has heard of globalism or “the globalists trying to take over the world” but if you’re like me then you may be confused about what that means. I thought I would try to take a bit of a look at some of the information on “globalists”.

First off the word globalist or Globalization simply means the interaction between people, companies, and governments around the world. As technology and ability to travel has increased so has the impact and instances of globalization. This has increased trade, exchanging of culture and ideas, as well as migration of workers and citizens.

This doesn’t seem to big of a deal to me but that doesn’t mean there aren’t downsides. Globalization means that multiple countries can have different kinds of impacts on each other. I know that I spend a bit of time criticizing capitalism these days but one downside of globalization in a capitalist system is that countries that don’t embrace capitalism the way that more powerful countries want them to can face sanctions or other restrictions. It can also mean that companies like those in the United States can hire workers in poorer countries with less regulations and less worker unity which can increase their profits but also hurts workers on multiple fronts.

Still, it can also allow for the United Nations to band together and sanction countries that break international laws on things like torture or using chemical weapons. Like with many things globalization seems to be a way to help or hurt different countries depending on the way that it is implemented.

While globalism has a long history stretching back to when ships could travel long distances and different economies and different political ideas could travel with them the conspiracy theories that we’re seeing a lot of today seem to have started in the late 1980s or early 1990s when the term New World Order came about. The New World Order or NWO is considered by those who believe in it to be a secret group of elitists who conspire to rule the world with an authoritarian world government which will replace all the sovereign nation states.

I don’t really have the time to get into all of the different conspiracy theories that go along with this but they go back quite far in history and a list may include, various end time predictions, Freemason conspiracies, the Illuminati, Zionism, The British government taking back over it’s colonies, and many more.

To bring us up to date, one of the things that Donald Trump ran on during his campaign was his fight against globalism. He left it relatively undefined, but he talked about it in much the same terms that most people think of it. Hidden forces, running things behind the scenes, infesting society with the news media, running governments, and running the financial institutions of the world

Some conspiracy theorists reject the use of the term globalism as the mainstream accepts it. They believe that it means there is a group of people who want to take over the world and install a one world government that essentially fits any boogeyman that they can conceive of. From Alex Jones to Lauren Southern to Donald J Trump, they all reject globalism. To quote Lauren Southern, former “journalist” for Rebel Media, “Globalists almost always sneer down their nose at tradition, disdain national culture, laugh at religion and generally despise the West while holding a creepy affection for the third world.They want open borders, cheap labor and antinationalism to benefit their business and political visions, and are all too willing to shaft the little people to achieve it.”

And you know, even if that were true much of it doesn’t sound all that bad. Tradition is stupid, national culture is arbitrary, religion is foolish, and the West is not necessarily the best.

So, I’m not sure where to leave this. As you can see globalism is a real thing that has different effects on different people but isn’t quite the giant evil conspiracy that the far right portray it as. If I’m spitballing here I’d say that many people like Donald Trump take full advantage of what globalism really is while also believing in the conspiracy version because the real globalism helps them profit and using the talking points of the conspiracy help them retain power and influence over their far right supporters.


Riots and Protests with Dan Arel

In this episode of The Hardcore Skeptic Examines, Cory talked to Dan Arel author of The Secular Activistand Parenting Without God. They talked about various aspects of social justice activism including protests and property damage.

Here are some links

https://www.facebook.com/danarelblog/

http://www.danarel.com

https://twitter.com/danarel

His books

The Secular Activist

Parenting Without God

 

Image background photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

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Thanks to our financial supporters, Kayla, Kim, Stephanie, Zach, The Utah Outcasts(x2), Will, Aaron, Darryl, BobbGlenn, Destin Doesn’t Suck That Much, Magnus, Several Species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave, Positively Skeptical, Rob,The Podunk Polymath, The Flying Spaghetti Monster (Sauce Be Upon Him), Freethinker215, and Larry. If you want to join them and help the show grow then you can do that at www.patreon.com/brainstormpodcast or you can do a one time donation at www.paypal.me/brainstormpodcast

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Social Justice with Callie Wright

Only 2 and a half years late, this interview with Callie Wright for the Hardcore Skeptic series on social justice is still as relevant and worth publishing as it ever was. Society hasn’t suddenly fixed itself since we talked and if anything it’s gotten more important that we talk about this stuff and acknowledge how much farther we still have to go.

Here are some links for Callie’s stuff

http://www.thegaytheistmanifesto.com

https://www.facebook.com/TheGaytheistManifesto/

https://twitter.com/thegaytheists

https://twitter.com/calliegetsit

Background photo credit Jon Tyson on Unsplash

For anything else you can contact us at mail@brainstormblog.net

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Thanks to our financial supporters, Kayla, Kim, Stephanie, Zach, The Utah Outcasts(x2), Will, Aaron, Darryl, BobbGlenn, Destin Doesn’t Suck That Much, Magnus, Several Species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave, Positively Skeptical, Rob,The Podunk Polymath, The Flying Spaghetti Monster (Sauce Be Upon Him), Freethinker215, and Larry. If you want to join them and help the show grow then you can do that at www.patreon.com/brainstormpodcast or you can do a one time donation at www.paypal.me/brainstormpodcast

Remember to check out aloststateofmind.com and www.voidpod.com

For more show notes check out our website www.brainstormblog.net and follow the show on Spreaker for notifications whenever a new episode is up or we go live. https://www.spreaker.com/user/brainstormpodcast

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We’ve teamed up with Reason Revolution too. You can find that at www.reasonrevolution.org

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What is Libertarian Socialism? with Kevin Watson

In this episode of the Skeptic Studio Cory talked to Kevin Watson about Libertarian Socialism which to a lot of Americans may sound like a contradiction but for someone like Kevin it fits very well. A lot of Kevin’s views match up pretty good with mine so we had a great chat.

You should check out the book he recommended, The Dispossessed.
(I know that Amazon sucks but here’s the link for it anyway) https://amzn.to/2Qyakma

Also here are the links to the Youtubers we talked about

https://www.youtube.com/user/ContraPoints

https://www.youtube.com/user/xaxie1

https://www.youtube.com/user/thephilosophytube

Mexie

https://www.youtube.com/user/petercoffin

 

And here are a couple links for Kevin’s content

https://twitter.com/LibSocScientist

https://www.facebook.com/ThatSJWTheyWarnedAbout/

 

For anything else you can contact us at mail@brainstormblog.net

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Or you can follow me on twitter @hardcoreskeptic

Thanks to our financial supporters, Kayla, Janet, Kim, Stephanie, Zach, The Utah Outcasts(x2), Will, Aaron, Darryl, BobbGlenn, Destin Doesn’t Suck That Much, Magnus, Several Species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave, Positively Skeptical, Rob,The Podunk Polymath, The Flying Spaghetti Monster (Sauce Be Upon Him), Freethinker215, and Larry. If you want to join them and help the show grow then you can do that at www.patreon.com/brainstormpodcast or you can do a one time donation at www.paypal.me/brainstormpodcast

Remember to check out aloststateofmind.com and www.voidpod.com

For more show notes check out our website www.brainstormblog.net and follow the show on Spreaker for notifications whenever a new episode is up or we go live.https://www.spreaker.com/user/brainstormpodcast

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We’ve teamed up with Reason Revolution too. You can find that at www.reasonrevolution.org

Remember to give us a rating, a thumbs up or a fav on your podcatcher of choice, join our facebook group, like our page, follow us on twitter, share the show and spread the word. 

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What’s the Deal with Rape Culture?

According to Wikipedia, rape culture is a sociological concept for a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality.

Some of the behaviours included in that are victim blaming, slut-shaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by sexual violence, or some combination of these things.

The term itself came about in the 70s and was meant to show the ways in which society blamed the victims of sexual assault and normalized sexual violence. Again according to the wiki, at the time most Americans assumed that rape, incest, and spousal abuse were rare. The concept of rape culture made the claim that rape was actually common in American culture and that it was one of the ways that societal misogyny and sexism were revealed.

Two main books came out at the time that discussed the topic Noreen Connell and Cassandra Wilson wrote Rape: the first sourcebook for women and Susan Brownmiller wrote  Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape. These books included a number of first hand accounts of women who were raped and had the intent to show that rape was far more common than was generally believed.

There was also a film in 1975 titled Rape Culture that discussed rape of men as well as women, contained interviews with victim and rapists and examined the medias impact on societal attitudes towards rape.

So, rape culture is essentially a culture in which rape is excused in a number of ways. Victim blaming, focusing on false accusations, accusing all women of making false accusations, and calling rape “rough sex” are all examples of how rape culture excuses the act of rape. Victim blaming can also take a variety of forms including calling attention to the victim’s past promiscuity, pointing out what the victim was wearing, claiming that the victim didn’t fight back enough,  or claiming that the victim shouldn’t have drank so much. There’s also the tendency for some people to just call women who come forward liars or some people just claim that they deserve it for some reason.

Susan Brownmiller brought up 3 ideas in her book Against Our Will that helped bring awareness to some of the myths about rape. First, she pointed out that any woman can be a victim of rape. Victims aren’t tied to any specific age, size, ethnicity, or status. They are not bad or misbehaved women. There is no personal characteristic that leads women to be more likely targeted for rape.
Second, she pointed out that any man can be a rapist. Not just evil men or the mentally ill, which feels ableist just saying it. Men of many different stripes are rapists and as much as the crime of rape is evil they can be just another normal dude who feels entitled to women’s bodies. They can even be supreme court justices.
And third, rape can occur in many different ways and doesn’t always fit the violent forceful rape in a back alley type model that we were kind of taught about for much of the past. We can now say that this can include things like date rape, or situations where someone is too inebriated to consent, or situations where things start off with consent given but change and consent is revoked. They can also include spousal or partner rape which is something that at one time was considered not actually rape.

One of the ways that rape culture is perpetuated is by various acts of sexism which reinforce norms that may foster disrespect for women or disregard for their well being. This can include things like sexist jokes aimed at making all women seem dumb or sexually promiscuous, or it can include slogans of fraternity like “bros before hos” that place the status of one’s male friends above the dignity and well being of women.

There are different takes on what causes rape culture with some claiming that it is about power and dominance while some others disagree and claim that there is no single cause but that it can be rooted in other social aspect of culture. This idea wasn’t fleshed out entirely in my reading, but it may tie to the previously mentioned acts of sexism in which some men consider themselves entitled to women’s bodies or they have such a denigrated view of women that they barely consider them to be people with autonomy. This seems to be something I’ve seen in something called bimbo culture in which women are considered to be nothing more than sex dolls with no personality or autonomy of their own separate from the men they are meant to give pleasure to.

Rape culture is considered always changing and adapting so that it will be considered legitimate. Currently much of rape culture is filtered through lenses of gender roles and heteronormativity but that could change if it suits those who commit rapes and are in positions of influence over culture. An example might be when someone like Donald Trump who has pretty massive influence says that he doesn’t believe someone who has come forward as a victim of sexual assault then a lot of people will start talking about not believing victims of sexual assault.

­That’s all I have for now but I think that’s enough

RESOURCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture

http://www.wavaw.ca/what-is-rape-culture/

https://www.marshall.edu/wcenter/sexual-assault/rape-culture/

https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/9/27/17906644/sixteen-candles-rape-culture-1980s-brett-kavanaugh

https://everydayfeminism.com/2014/03/examples-of-rape-culture/

Totally Unqualified

In this episode of the Shift To Reason Radio, Cory, Lisa, Rene, Dan, and Dave talk Religious Nuttery, Woo, Politics, and Hate. This is from our November 23rd show.

Links

 

Religious Nuttery

Rene’s Story  https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/ev3vqp/an-untouched-tribe-killed-9– the-missionary-trying-to-convert-them?

Rene’s Story – http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/texas-pastor-says-concert-by-devil-worshipping-band-ghost-is-not-healthy-for-our-community

Woo Report

Cory’s Story – https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-nutrition/carnivore-diet-beefy-leap-faith

Science

Lisa’s Story – https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/hemimastigotes-supra-kingdom-1.4715823

Politics

Dan’s Story – https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/nothing-on-this-page-is-real-how-lies-become-truth-in-online-america/2018/11/17/edd44cc8-e85a-11e8-bbdb-72fdbf9d4fed_story.html

New segment on Hatred and Violence

Dave’s Story – https://globalnews.ca/news/4673240/ontario-pc-recognize-gender-identity/

Related article

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07238-8

 

For anything else you can contact us at mail@brainstormblog.net

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Thanks to our financial supporters, Kayla, Janet, Kim, Stephanie, Zach, The Utah Outcasts(x2), Will, Aaron, Darryl, BobbGlenn, Destin Doesn’t Suck That Much, Magnus, Several Species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave, Positively Skeptical, Rob,The Podunk Polymath, The Flying Spaghetti Monster (Sauce Be Upon Him), Freethinker215, and Larry. If you want to join them and help the show grow then you can do that at www.patreon.com/brainstormpodcast  or you can do a one time donation at www.paypal.me/brainstormpodcast

Remember to check out aloststateofmind.com and www.voidpod.com

For more show notes check out our website www.brainstormblog.net and follow the show on Spreaker for notifications whenever a new episode is up or we go live.https://www.spreaker.com/user/brainstormpodcast

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Midterms, Brazil, and the Far Right

In this episode of the Brainstorm Rectable, Cory, Sarah, Rene, and Dave talk about some of the stuff from a few days after the midterm elections in the US, Brazil’s new fascist leader, and Cory does a rant about the danger of the far right.

Here are some links

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/06/us/elections/results-house-elections.html

Brazil links

https://www.facebook.com/tanyasau/posts/10110737942059853

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2018/10/christian-fascism-comes-to-brazil-new-president-bolsonaro-promises-christian-theocracy

https://www.facebook.com/ShujiAli/videos/10156841268947210/

https://youtu.be/Diap_PMN-p0

I also highly recommend this episode of Revolutionary Left Radio discussing Brazil

https://revolutionaryleftradio.libsyn.com/battleground-brazil-jair-bolsonaro-the-military-dictatorship-fascism

For anything else you can contact us at mail@brainstormblog.net

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Or you can follow me on twitter @hardcoreskeptic

Thanks to our financial supporters, Kayla, Janet, Kim, Stephanie, Zach, The Utah Outcasts(x2), Will, Aaron, Darryl, Destin sucks, BobbGlenn, Destin Doesn’t Suck That Much, Magnus, Several Species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave, Positively Skeptical, Rob,The Podunk Polymath, The Flying Spaghetti Monster (Sauce Be Upon Him), Freethinker215, and Larry. If you want to join them and help the show grow then you can do that at www.patreon.com/brainstormpodcast

Remember to check out aloststateofmind.com and www.voidpod.com

For more show notes check out our website www.brainstormblog.net and follow the show on Spreaker for notifications whenever a new episode is up or we go live.https://www.spreaker.com/user/brainstormpodcast

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Extremists: From Sovereign Citizens to Incels

In this episode of The Skeptic Studio Cory talked to Dr. Edwin Hodge from the University of Victoria in British Colombia. They discussed various extremist groups, some links between ways they approach the world, and some of the history behind them.

Here is a link to the last time Cory talked to Dr. Hodge

https://www.brainstormblog.net/the-hardcore-skeptic-examines/2017/5/21/an-academic-talks-social-justice

You may also find Cory’s interview with David Neiwert interesting and relevant to the subject

https://www.brainstormblog.net/the-skeptic-studio/rightwingextremism-davidneiwert

or Cory’s recent blog article/podcast rant on the subject

https://www.brainstormblog.net/blog-entries/riseofthefarright

Credit for portions of this image goes to

Anthony Crider; cropped by Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:37, 9 April 2018 (UTC) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

For anything else you can contact us at mail@brainstormblog.net

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Or you can follow me on twitter @hardcoreskeptic

Thanks to our financial supporters, Kayla, Janet, Kim, Stephanie, Zach, The Utah Outcasts(x2), Will, Aaron, Darryl, Destin sucks, BobbGlenn, Destin Doesn’t Suck That Much, Magnus, Several Species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave, Positively Skeptical, Rob,The Podunk Polymath, The Flying Spaghetti Monster (Sauce Be Upon Him), Freethinker215, and Larry. If you want to join them and help the show grow then you can do that at www.patreon.com/brainstormpodcast

Remember to check out aloststateofmind.com and www.voidpod.com

For more show notes check out our website www.brainstormblog.net and follow the show on Spreaker for notifications whenever a new episode is up or we go live. https://www.spreaker.com/user/brainstormpodcast

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Website_ EPISODE 14_ CULTURAL NARRATIVES, POLITICAL TRIBES, AND HUMANITY'S DEATH STAR

#014: Cultural Narratives, Political Tribes, & Humanity’s Death Star (feat. Dr. Valerie Tarico) | A Leap of Doubt

My guest for this episode is Dr. Valerie Tarico, a psychologist, writer, and social commentator who tackles religious fundamentalism, gender roles, reproductive empowerment, and the intersection of these three. She joins me on this episode to discuss the power of political mythmaking and cultural storytelling and try to understand the confusing and often frustrating dynamics that we’re currently witnessing in much progressive discourse (or in some cases, debacles).

Dr. Tarico has identified three main narratives that dominate the cultural and political marketplace of ideas. We talk about what these stories are, and the ways in which humans relate and receive these narratives to and from our fellow tribe members in order to effect desired social change. We also discuss what progressives might do differently moving forward to take control of our cultural evolution and effect desired social change in positive directions that challenge old ways of thought and action that threaten our continued existence. Can the Enlightenment liberal vision be reconciled with the post-structuralist and postmodern liberal visions, and if so, how? How do we go about mending the rifts in the secular humanist community and move forward to make real change? And what the hell do Black Panther and Wonder Woman have to do with “sophisticated” theologians?

My appearance on Minnesota Atheists Talk Radio Show: https://player.fm/series/atheists-talk-radio-show/ep-455-religious-apocalypse-in-cinema

This week’s shout-outs:
Jerb the Humanist (https://tinyurl.com/ydc9rrl6)
The Podunk Polymath Podcast (https://tinyurl.com/yc7voypf)

 

Links:

Dr. Valerie Tarico’s website: https://valerietarico.com/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/ValerieTarico

Valerie Tarico’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TrustingDoubt

Valerie Tarico, “Political Narrative I: This Simple Idea is the Reactor at the Heart of Humanity’s Death Star,” March 14, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/ydz86m5b.

Valerie Tarico, “Political Narrative II: Why Some Progressives Are Tearing Each Other Apart,” March 30, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/y9um2gy3

Amy Chua, “Revenge of the Tribes: How the American Empire Could Fall,” Big Think, February 28, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LZ71c9VVn0.

 

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The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.