Commentary by James Turnage
I began writing for the Las Vegas Guardian Express nearly two years ago. In the beginning it was simply because I enjoyed writing and was given the opportunity to write about anything I wished. It became much more.
I consider myself well informed. I read, I listen, and I fact check. I became disappointed in the major media many years ago. I realized they were either misinforming the public, or telling us half-truths. I wanted to know why. When I found out why, I sought a way to inform the American public about the truth. The government had no controls over what I wrote.
To cover their incomplete and inadequate reporting, the two political parties began to claim that news services were biased towards one or the other. That was no more than a smoke screen, and it worked.
There were two issues I witnessed which concerned me greatly. One was a denial of a major issue, and one was a proliferation of a tactic to control the American people.
America is a ruthlessly violent nation. Only one nation in the world’s history waged war as often and as quickly as the United States, Rome. And we are following their path to self-destruction.
When most Americans think of violent acts, the obvious come to mind. The first will always be 911, but that was an attack on our country, not an attack on Americans by Americans. Most recently these include events in Tucson, Arizona; Aurora, Colorado; Newtown, Connecticut; and now a naval shipyard in Washington, D.C. All of these tragedies added together pale in comparison to the carnage committed daily and ignored by the press.
In 2010, over 8,000 Americans were killed by gun use in the United States. The majority of these were women and children. Why?
At the top of the list of reasons is the insanity regarding gun possession. Anyone can purchase a firearm in America, and they are encouraged to do just that. The NRA, one of the nation’s largest and best-funded lobbies, pushes the Constitution in the face of the American public. They mistakenly use the second amendment to encourage every citizen to purchase a weapon and make gun manufacturers and gun sellers even more-wealthy.
The entertainment industry has a major responsibility for promoting violence in America. Violence sells tickets in movie theaters, advertising on television, and games such as “Grand Theft Auto” to the youth of our nation. They defend themselves claiming that ratings ensure that young minds will not be influenced by these venues. Statistics prove the efforts are ineffective.
The most obvious change in our culture is what some call a sporting event. “Mixed-Martial Arts,” or “Cage Fighting” is nothing more than street fighting. I have a black belt, MMA has nothing to do with that training. The brutality of the contests appeals only to those who enjoy watching pain inflicted on another human being.
Not far behind is NASCAR. The only reason to watch cars racing around an oval track at over 200 MPH is the anticipation of an accident. None of their “fans” have ever witnessed a La Mans style race where the contestants have to actually drive their vehicles.
Control of the American people has become a simple task. Fear is the greatest motivator, and creates the most isolation between human beings. And, once again, the major media assist the government in the proliferation of fear tactics.
911 made it easy for one administration to control the minds of an entire population. Bush never made a single speech without working “911” into the text. But the fear was both unfounded and a waste of time. It was extremely doubtful that most Americans were in danger of a terrorist attack. Additionally, what could the average man or woman do that would prevent such a cowardly act? Nothing.
The “gun nuts” are divided as to why they “need” weapons. Once again, our government has separated us by politics.
Republicans tell their constituents that they need guns to defend themselves from criminals, and the possibility of a “race war.”
Democrats claim they need them to prevent a takeover by our government and create a “military dictatorship.”
My right-wing friends continually send me e-mails created by hate groups that infer our country will be taken over by Muslims, and President Obama is encouraging the process. More fear tactics, and 100 percent unfounded.
My left-wing friends send me messages informing me that if certain Republicans are elected, explicit policies may be destroyed. Not reality.
There is no stronger emotion than fear. All emotions create weakness within humans, but fear can paralyze anyone. A great president once said: “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” A more recent and far less great president used the word “threat” in his addresses to the American people with regularity.
So, have you learned why the major media censors or simply fails to report much of the truth about our country? There are two reasons.
The major news agencies depend upon sources in the government for exclusivity in reporting. There is an agreement between the two conspirators that no information will be given to the American public which is not approved by the government. We hear and see nothing until an actual scandal breaks. In addition, they fail to reveal the collusion between Democrats and Republicans to keep voters divided. Winning elections is the only goal of both sides of the aisle.
The second reason is obvious: money. Sensational stories sell advertising, everyday occurrences, no matter how atrocious they may be, do not sell advertising space.
When a wealthy, young white girl went missing while attending a high school graduation celebration outside of the United States, certain news media covered the story endlessly for months. No one paid attention to the dozens of poor children of color who were missed during the same time period.
If a celebrity or an elected official is killed, or becomes terminally ill, the media covers the story incessantly. These horrible events happen to average men, women, and children every day, but no one cares. And the government doesn’t believe that the poor should have adequate health care in case of such emergencies.
The slogan of the Guardian Express is “boldly inclusive.” Its writers have been encouraged to provide two, three, or even more sides and opinions on every issue. News should return to where it was; give the public the facts on issues, and let them make up their minds about what they might believe. But make certain they are facts, and not lies or half-truths.
I no longer read American news reports. I read Al-Jazeera, RT, and other international publications who are not controlled by American propaganda machines. I write for, and read, the Las Vegas Guardian Express for the same reasons.
Freedom of the press is the most important amendment to our Constitution. Truth is more powerful than guns, bombs, and chemical weapons. That is why our government fears the truth, it would set us free.