I need your help to help understand some things, My friend got called an Asshole for putting this reposting this pic on Facebook


How It Happened

Hey everyone! Right before I went to bed last night I read this quote from Noam Chomsky concerning Vietnam:

“One of the questions asked in that study was, How many Vietnamese casualties would you estimate that there were during the Vietnam war? The average response on the part of Americans today is about 100,000. The official figure is about two million. The actual figure is probably three to four million. The people who conducted the study raised an appropriate question: What would we think about German political culture if, when you asked people today how many Jews died in the Holocaust, they estimated about 300,000? What would that tell us about German political culture?”

It got me thinking as did this article:

‘Did we just kill a kid?’: The moment drone operator who assassinated Afghans with the push of a button on a computer in the U.S. realized he had vaporized a child… and could not go on

A former U.S. drone operator has opened up about the toll of killing scores of innocent people by pressing a button from a control room in New Mexico. Brandon Bryant, 27, from Missoula, Montana, spent six years in the Air Force operating Predator drones from inside a dark container. But, after following orders to shoot and kill a child in Afghanistan, he knew he couldn’t keep doing what he was doing and quit the military.

Let me Share three more facts with you and then i will move on and get to it already

  1. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) an independent organization based at City University in London reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 – 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 – 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 – 1,362 individuals,” according to the Stanford/NYU study. taken from this CNN article
  3. Vava Tampa wrote an article Entitled Why the World is Ignoring Congo War for CNN. In the article she stipulates that :The wars in the Congo have claimed nearly the same number of lives as having a 9/11 every single day for 360 days, the genocide that struck Rwanda in 1994, the ethnic cleansing that overwhelmed Bosnia in the mid-1990s, the genocide that took place in Darfur, the number of people killed in the great tsunami that struck Asia in 2004, and the number of people who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki — all combined and then doubled. Yet we rarely hear anything about it.

Now with all that Said

Is it fair to say that mass media doesn’t report all events equally.  I understand that killing sprees don’t happen everyday in connecticut a rather affluent state but they have been on the rise:

1. Shooting sprees are not rare in the United States. 

Mother Jones has tracked and mapped every shooting spree in the last three decades. “Since 1982, there have been at least 61 mass murders carried out with firearms across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii,” they found. And in most cases, the killers had obtained their weapons legally:

I took that from another article: Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States. That a story for another day. But there has been evidence that mass-media does heavily influence what we see as real

In 1997, J. R. Finnegan Jr. and K. Viswanath identified 3 main effects or functions of mass media.

  1. The Knowledge Gap: The mass media influences knowledge gaps due to factors including “the extent to which the content is appealing, the degree to which information channels are accessible and desirable, and the amount of social conflict and diversity there is in a community”.
  2. Agenda Setting: People are influence in how they think about issues due to the selective nature of what media choose for public consumption
  3. Cultivation of Perceptions: The extent to which media exposure shapes audience perceptions over time is known as cultivation.

Actually Edward Bernays father of public relations felt it was an important element of a democratic society.

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

So of course with the evidence and from what I have seen in the news is it wrong to say that the media directs  to a certain extent  where we place our emotional responses?  This happened of course in America on American soil and is a tragedy. Without a doubt I think it is an opportunity for us as a country to re-visit gun control, how we treat mental illness and a host of other issues.

How did you interpret the image ?

Do you find it an “asshole thing to post” ?

Do you you find the statement made by the picture to be factual or non-factual?

If you read this statement before the tragic event that transpired in Connecticut recently how would you feel about it ?

Please leave you thoughts below, I’m curious to know what you all feel and jsut to discuss this and perhaps figure something out




  1. Like everything else…it is all about timing! 26 innocent lives were taken, 20 of those were children ranging from 10 to only 6 years old (only two have been buried as of yesterday). This massacre happened in a place that was supposed to be safe…their school, their classroom. The only thing wrong they did that day was do exactly what they were supposed to do…go to school. My thoughts of course go to, did any child that morning say…mommy I don’t feel good and their mother said, go to school and if you feel worse have the nurse call me (as I have done). One can’t help but feel for all shooting victims, and I mean all. Whether in shopping malls, bad neighborhoods or in times of war. But timing my friend…timing!


  2. Here’s the problem. It is never okay to rationalize or justify the death of one child with the death of another. Every child that dies is a tragedy, but just as it would be desperately inappropriate to make a similar poster and hang it in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan, it is inappropriate to do it here.

    What I think this propaganda does say is that:
    1) people are grossly insensitive for political purposes
    2) we (as Americans) need to stop dallying in the business of other countries that we CANNOT save and start fixing/healing/rebuilding our own messed up country.

    Let grieving people grieve without turning it into a statement on the disgrace of our country and/or government.

    Your friend is insensitive, regardless of what child’s death he is objectifying. He might as well boycott their funeral and memorial services for all the sympathy he is lacking. Perhaps he ought to station himself outside Fort Bragg and spit on soldiers coming home from their service in Iraq and Afghanistan like they did to my dad when he (as a child himself) got off the plane fresh from the front line in Vietnam. This has nothing to do with nationality or politics, this is just a tragedy. So are the deaths of innocent children in South Africa, China, Russia, Detriot, LA, India, Sweden, Germany, Latvia, Italy, Turkey, Ethiopia, England, Ireland, Libya, Zaire, Cote d’Ivoir, Columbia, and everywhere else children are victimized.


  3. The sad reality is that people aren’t as interested in or engaged in what goes down in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; what happens in Connecticut, Colorado, and elsewhere in the US— that’s another story. The third world has, unfortunately, long been a problem. Their children have been sacrificed as much by their own regimes as they have been by ours (probably moreso). Simply put— these have not been “safe” places to live for a very, very long time. This is not to say that these children are less important. They are not. They do, unfortunately, live in places where instability is a way of life. Our children, by and large, do not. For example, no one expects to find a land mine in suburban America. Drive by shootings and other drug/gang-related violence in our urban centers notwithstanding, short of some horrible and tragic accident, we have come to fully expect that our suburban children will return from school.

    I am not going to weigh in on whether or not your friend is an asshole. What I will say is that timing being everything, posting this on Facebook in the aftermath of Newtown (regardless that the reason was to raise awareness) was, at the very least, insensitive.


  4. well i find it upsetting Obama does not cry tears for the children USA has killed as well as the children of the school shooting … i can tell you the numbers are much higher than 20 … what does this say to US children? only americans deserve tears … while other children from other countries being attacked or sanctioned by US are sending their thoughts and prayers to US victims ….

    what about the infants with their throats slit to their neck in front of their mother by US al qaeda proxies, who later raped the moms and then slit their throats as well … no tears eh

    i could go on forever i think the number is at least 10 million people the US has killed with their imperialist aggression since ww2, might be 20 million


  5. no disarming the public till we disarm the governments btw, the government is one supplying criminals and terrorists with weapons so for the average law abiding citizen to give up weapon is simply ridiculous, that leaves only criminals with weapons


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