Who benefits most from Donald Trump, the GOP and conservative news outlets attacking the credibility of Robert Mueller, the investigation into Trump’s Russian connections, the FBi and US intelligence agencies? The is only one answer, Vladimir Putin. Diminishing the global standing of the US has been Putin’s goal since the fall of the Soviet Union. …
Dec 27 2017
Jul 04 2015
“Independence Day”!? Even I must admit that the term is technically true because on this date some rebels, yes rebels, put their lives on the line by signing their names on a piece of vellum parchment(sheepskin), not hemp.
Had a friend of mine say today that this day is actually not a celebration of the military but of agitators. He is right and he is wrong. First, those that signed the document were leaders of their “colonies”, though in reality the people living in them may not have known these cats were starting a war. Secondly, as the representatives(the rich dudes) they were ostensibly the CIC of the Militias.
Joseph would be jealous if he knew the extent of propaganda used to herd the sheep. Karl learned it and taught the Democrats a lesson.
^discern that meaning and you win a prize^
Case in point.
So here we are, free, intelligent humans able to discern truth from fiction. Oh if it were so it would be a beautiful world. I think back to the falsehoods(lies) that were taught when I was but a wee one and cringe. The cringe is nothing when I consider the “willies” induced when I consider what kids are taught today. Too often I throw my hands in the air and say, “such is life” and that “history is written by the victor”.
Well here is a little history from some dopeheads that I have passed on to my grandkid. he’s twelve, I can only hope he teaches his siblings.
May 30 2014
If you want to be a firsthand witness to a truly brilliant, textbook example of how to cut U.S. government propaganda off at its knees before it even begins to take its first breath in the MSM (somewhat surprisingly, by New York Times’ government stenographer David Sanger, no less), look no further than Edward Snowden’s powerful response in tonight’s Washington Post, and Marcy Wheeler’s double-dose of commentary and analysis over at her Emptywheel blog for some serious and beautifully executed lessons! (John Podesta, are you taking copious notes?)
As many will realize after reading these incredibly disparate NYT and WaPo reports, even open-minded Snowden-haters (I know, that’s an oxymoron) would have to admit their home team was completely schooled in tonight’s news cycle.
First, the government’s stenography courtesy of the NYT…
N.S.A. Releases Email That It Says Undercuts Snowden’s Whistle-Blower Claim
By DAVID E. SANGER
NEW YORK TIMES
MAY 29, 2014
WASHINGTON – The National Security Agency on Thursday released what it said was the sole internal email from Edward J. Snowden before he fled with a trove of agency secrets, and officials asserted that the message undercut his argument that he protested the legality of surveillance programs before he released any of the documents he stole to journalists.
The email to the N.S.A. general counsel’s office, dated April 8, 2013, makes no reference to the government’s bulk collection of telephone data or other surveillance or cyberprograms. Nor does it raise concerns about violations of privacy.
Instead, Mr. Snowden was seeking clarification about the hierarchy of laws governing the N.S.A., based on what he had learned in an agency training course about privacy protection rules for handling intercepted information.
By the time the email was sent, Mr. Snowden, who was a private contractor and not an agency employee, had already implanted software in the N.S.A. system that was copying its files automatically. Two months later, the first of those files were made public by journalists who had received them from Mr. Snowden.
The N.S.A. released the email in response to Mr. Snowden’s assertion in an interview with Brian Williams of NBC News that was broadcast on Wednesday night. In the interview, Mr. Snowden said he had raised complaints both in Hawaii and at the N.S.A. headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., about “real problems with the way the N.S.A. was interpreting its legal authorities…”
# # #
May 17 2014
Journalist Chris Hedges spoke with RT news host Sophia about the information difference in the news that is reported. Citing the uprising in the Ukraine as an example, he talks about how the US government uses fake facts and dubious evidence to push its propaganda on the public using an ever compliant American media.
The crisis in Ukraine and the steadily dropping temperature in relations between Moscow and Washington made many talk about a new Cold War; and many others are worried it may turn ‘hot’. But there’s another war going on right now: the information war. US Secretary of State Kerry has already attacked RT, calling it “Putin’s propaganda machine.” But Washington itself uses dubious evidence and fake facts. What is the information war? What methods is America using?
There are two sides to every story, then there is the truth.
Oct 19 2013
Conservative media has been spreading a story that apparently first appeared on the badly named Christian Broadcasting Network about a transgender student in Florence, CO who has been accused of harassing girls in the locker room and rest rooms.
My old friend Cristan Williams debunked that story by speaking directly with Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti, who explained that there was indeed no harassment taking place. Indeed there were rather a few parents who were opposed to the fact that a transgender student was being allowed to use the locker room of the gender with which she identifies.
Pacific Justice Institute, which is taking the lead to repeal California’s AB 1266, which protects the freedom of transgender students to pursue an equal education with that of their peers, has now basically admitted that they invented the story.
Jul 29 2013
Temple Grandin, the autistic professor, said non-visual learners could not possibly think like cows, as she could, and therefore were horribly handicapped in seeing the real world. Temple built her success largely on methods and means of handling livestock humanely and productively.
On the other hand visual learners were unable to receive the mysterious signals that normal people communicated to each other through some incomprehensible mechanism and had to rely on extensive learned memory banks to have any clue to a mysterious, illogical world of emotion.
Humpty Dumpty had it right, Alice.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
– Through the Looking Glass
A table set up on a sidewalk had copies of the Bill of Rights that passersby were asked to read.
“Propaganda by Karl Marx,” was the typical judgment.
In an earlier day, a tract condemning “rampant heterosexualism” found nearly unanimous agreement. I suspect us bent “straights” have made progress of a kind along with the none-bents but I know of no tests.
I somehow doubt cows think much like an Einstein or a Temple Grandin. Even they know a warmth of emotion prohibited to autistics but they also have a logic that escapes the herd of true believers fired up by words that somehow have an opposite meaning from their original intent – words like capitalism, socialism, democracy, race and – worst of all – the words of founders of the major religions of the day.
Jul 19 2013
One of the many provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 that was signed by Pres. Barack Obama late in the night of December 30, 2012, was the repeal of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948. The original act outlined the State Department’s dissemination of information outside the boarders of the United States:
authorizes the U.S. State Department to communicate to audiences outside of the borders of the United States through broadcasting, face-to-face contacts, exchanges (including educational, cultural, and technical), online activities, the publishing of books, magazines, and other media of communication and engagement.
The legislation included three key provision the first, and most important was a prohibition on domestic dissemination of materials intended for foreign audiences by the State Department.
Section 501(a) of the Act (care of the Voice of America website) provides that
“information produced by VOA for audiences outside the United States shall not be disseminated within the United States … but, on request, shall be available in the English language at VOA, at all reasonable times following its release as information abroad, for examination only by representatives of United States press associations, newspapers, magazines, radio systems, and stations, and by research students and scholars, and, on request, shall be made available for examination only to Members of Congress.”
“This means that VOA is forbidden to broadcast within the United States.” In reality, of course, any American with a shortwave receiver or an Internet connection can listen to VOA. That’s incidental, however. VOA cannot direct or intend its programs to be “for” Americans. This distinction is often lost on experts who see the letter of the law but with no real understanding of the media. George W. Bush-era State Department official James K. Glassman has called for directing VOA at American audiences.
The 2013 NDAA ended that restriction on July 2:
(T)he Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) was given permission to let US households tune-in to hear the type of programming that has previously only been allowed in outside nations.
The BBG is the independent government agency that broadcasts Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other networks created “to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy” – and a new law now allows the agency to provide members of the American public with program materials originally meant to be disseminated abroad.
Back in 1972, Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright equated those government stories with propaganda when he said they “should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics.” A couple of current lawmakers were singing a different tune when they proposed the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 last year, though, which became official just two weeks ago.
Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Adam Smith (D-WA), who introduced the changes to the Smith Mundt last year argued
“Effective strategic communication and public diplomacy should be front-and-center as we work to roll back al-Qaeda’s and other violent extremists’ influence among disaffected opulations,” [..]
“An essential part of our efforts must be a coordinated, comprehensive, adequately resourced plan to counter their radical messages and undermine their recruitment abilities. To do this, Smith-Mundt must be updated to bolster our strategic communications and public diplomacy capacity on all fronts and mediums – especially online.“
According to Tim Cushing at Techdirt, there is the good news and bad news of the government’s ability to aim its pre-approved news at US citizens. The “good new”:
BBG spokesperson Lynne Weil says these efforts aren’t simply pro-government hype machines. [..]
As Weil points out, this will bring a new level of transparency to the BBG as communicating to Americans is no longer prohibited. If nothing else, transcripts of BBG programming will be easier for Americans to get ahold of. A court ruled in 1998 that the limitations of the Smith-Mundt Act exempted the Voice of America from releasing transcripts in response to FOIA requests.
Another possible plus is the fact that the BBG will provide a free, “local” news source for immigrant populations. [..]
However, there is the “bad news”:
(T)he thought of a state-run news agency being allowed to direct its efforts at Americans is still uncomfortable. Despite claims of independence, it’s hard to believe the source is 100% trustworthy when its stated purpose is to run flack for the State Department in foreign nations. (Of course, the mainstream media outlets haven’t shown much reluctance to regurgitate talking points, which almost makes the BBG’s efforts seem redundant.)
While the BBG may provide a less-biased source of news for many foreigners (or at least provide a different bias), the purpose of its broadcasts to its new American audience is less clear. The fact that the State Department is behind the effort doesn’t do much to allay fears that the BBG will become a tool of domestic propaganda. The State Department’s reaction to the leak of diplomatic correspondence by Wikileaks was to block its employees’ access to the site (or any site containing the word “Wikileaks”) and demand the digital documents be “returned.” How will a state-run press react to developments like these? Will it be forced to play by the department’s rules, no matter how illogical, or will it be able to deal with them in a more forthright manner?
In a time where the administration seems to be forced to play defense with increasing frequency, it’s hard to believe it won’t be willing to exploit this addition to its PR arsenal.
In a May 18, 2012 BuzzFeded article, the late Michael Hastings warned that this revision would open the door to Pentagon propaganda:
The evaporation of Smith-Mundt and other provisions to safeguard U.S. citizens against government propaganda campaigns is part of a larger trend within the diplomatic and military establishment.
In December, the Pentagon used software to monitor the Twitter debate over Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing; another program being developed by the Pentagon would design software to create “sock puppets” on social media outlets; and, last year, General William Caldwell, deployed an information operations team under his command that had been trained in psychological operations to influence visiting American politicians to Kabul.
A U.S. Army whistleblower, Lieutenant Col. Daniel Davis, noted recently in his scathing 84-page unclassified report on Afghanistan that there remains a strong desire within the defense establishment “to enable Public Affairs officers to influence American public opinion when they deem it necessary to “protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will,” he wrote, quoting a well-regarded general.
Not only is the government creating an state approved press, it will now have its own news agencies within the US to disseminate its own sanctioned news stories, a true Pravda on the Potomac.
May 30 2012
DHS documents were released to Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) that despite extensive redactions reveal a greater administration role than previously known in the crackdown on the Occupy movement.
The release is described on the PCJF website:
Homeland Security Documents Show Massive Nationwide Monitoring of Occupy Movement
Documents just obtained by the PCJF from its FOIA request show massive nationwide monitoring, surveillance and information sharing between the Department of Homeland Security and local authorities in response to Occupy. The PCJF, also on behalf of author/filmmaker Michael Moore and the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee, has made a series of FOIA demands regarding law enforcement involvement in the Occupy Crackdown. …
This set of released materials reveals intense involvement by the DHS’ National Operations Center (NOC) in these activities. The DHS describes the NOC as, “the primary national-level hub for domestic situational awareness, common operational picture, information fusion, information sharing, communications, and coordination pertaining to the prevention of terrorist attacks and domestic incident management. The NOC is the primary conduit for the White House Situation Room and DHS Leadership for domestic situational awareness and facilitates information sharing and operational coordination with other federal, state, local, tribal, non-governmental operation centers and the private sector.”
Jan 11 2012
A Reply to “OpEds-The Lion and the Ox: The Winter of Our Discontent” by Gary Steven Corseri
Gary, my dear, you can turn a phrase. This was priceless: “The possibility of war with Iran is a warmonger’s wet-dream now-and the sheets are gross and soggy.”
I am shamed such talent has gone to waste, such obvious intellect has been coopted by the human need for a saviour, and the human ability to delude itself. Much like your disappointment in President Hopey-McChangey, you have not the ears to hear.
For while some of us were duped by his rhetoric, others among us reminded us that he was candidly a centrist – that he wanted increased War in Afghanistan (the right war) and that he intended to “reach across the aisle” (read reach-around) to those who sponsored his campaign. The right.
Here you are, a grown man, tapping your heels, saying, “there’s no place like home,” and clapping your hands and saying, “I do believe in faeries,” for yet another candidate whose record is clearly illiberal and equally dangerous, Ron Paul.
Yet, I believe you know in your heart of hearts, that this is so many marionettes dancing on a cave wall.
Apr 30 2011
Self-deception is not a new cultural phenomenon, but it has always been popular. Self-deception takes many forms. Some kinds are harmless, such as the almost universal one of thinking that one is more attractive than one actually is. Others can be devastating, such as thinking that one is, for example, thinking that one is obese when actually he or she is seriously underweight. Interestingly, both of these conditions have to do with self image. As a matter of fact, many kinds of self-deception have to do with self image.
There are other kinds as well. In many of those cases it is not just an individual having deceptive thoughts herself or himself, but rather is encouraged to cleave to ideas that the individual probably deep down believes not to be true. This is the basis of the idea of propaganda, when ideas are planted by outside sources. There is one big movement that is current and we shall talk about it at some length.
Mar 14 2011
eighth anniversary of America’s invasion of Iraq.
Yep, and it seems now that the U.S. media is trying to spin their own rovian revisionist history as to why they didn’t do their jobs, eight years later!
And after all this time, questions still remain as to why the United States launched the war in the first place.
Really Simon, questions? Seems hundreds of thousands here with added millions, us ‘focus groups’, around this planet were questioning before, on the day the invasion started and all these years later, as well as paying attention to the better late then never Inquiries held as well as all the proof then and through these eight years. Where have all of you been?
So how did U.S. intelligence get it so wrong?
Did intelligence get it all wrong “who spun a web of lies which convinced America’s top spies”, or is it more reality that you all followed breathlessly what cheney and all his brother and sister neo-cons, who found a story line from a single source they could build up with what other ‘intelligence?’ they cherry picked, think powell at the U.N., and added to justify their destructive goals, sold you and few questioned, remember all that love towards rumsfeld!
Mar 04 2011
Yes – I was a Hillary supporter for the Presidential election. Yes – I think she is smart and competent. She would have made a better president domestically – foreign policy – questionable; perhaps the same as Obama and his advisors. She’s tied herself to this administration. Still, because I like and admire her – I give her slack. She is working in the world muck – we are sitting outside in the clearer air. But, as I said she’s tied herself to Obama Brand policies.
No matter that (and please don’t make this a flame diary about Hillary) – she gets what’s going on as to the foreign tv presence in our midst. Thank God say I – though I suppose most politicians and American pundits haven’t recognized yet that we are falling behind in newsgathering and televising points of view, and we are eating oil soaked dust.
I watch RT News every day for at least l/2 hour and often more – I go to Max Keiser’s televised spots at least twice a week on my computer. More importantly, more and more people (not even mildly left) are watching. I recently had a conversation at the train stop with a nice, nonpolitical woman who is avidly watching RT. (I didn’t know this stuff, says she.) I have given up on non-cable news channels. I won’t go to NPR since they hired several military officers in the ramp up of the Iraqi invasion – no. Not too much on the other side as I recall – the rational side. Frontline does good work – and of course, I miss Mr. Moyers. MSNBC is a distracting noise – giving us the false impression that one of media MOTU is listening to us. Really, that was only an executive corporate decision “Let’s give them this so they’ll be quiet.” (This is how cynical I’ve become.)
But Hillary understands more and more Americans and other Westeners are watching the foreign news channels. RT is where a viewer could learn, for instance, that homeless people in New York have a lottery at shelters to see who gets in for the cold nights. And right now an enlightening program is up on the Chicago Grain Exchange and world hunger. They have well put-together slices of Russian life as well – travelling all over Russia, focusing on the best of Russia’s culture and cottage industries – no doubt fostering travel. I want to go to St. Petersburg next year (though because of Tolstoy, not RT.) During the ramp up to the Iraqi War, BBC and the Canadian Public radio stations were a balm making that horror more bearable, and for that there is gratitude. But BBC is not as sharp as it once was – sounds tired and trying to please the MOTU (only with a British accent which is always a plus).
So when Hillary says in a congressional hearing that we are falling behind and specifically mentions RT News, she is right. She has watched it and said it was “instructive.” In other words, she gets it. It is instructive. Now does the government want the populace here to get it – nope. What she wants is a superduper American channel like these foreign outlets to get the American point of view out. As long as we continue to send the marines and ships out to oil rich countries – well, let’s say it’s gonna be a hard sell.
Question: How do we hide invasions, torture, whistleblower hunting season, drones, the death of the middle class and the rise of a corporate and slave society? Answer – we can’t hide all of it of course. And why would they put it out there for all to see? (See Julian Assange and Bradley Manning) Thank God there are still good, honest journalists here. But those journalists won’t be on the news outlet she is proposing. Nay – but it gives me a bit of pleasure. At least Hillary gets it.
And here’s a thought: Michael Moore, Matt Tabbai, Chris Hayes, Glenn Greenwald won’t be getting spots on that news outlet. Ya think.