Tag: lies

They Needed A Study For This?

While scanning the news, I came across this article in the Associated Press by Seth Borenstein: Study finds false stories travel way faster than the truth. Since this is something I am quite certain is a fact, I had to read it just for laughs. Twitter loves lies. A new study finds that false information …

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Yes, Trump’s Speech Was Normal

Yesterday, pundits were drooling over Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of congress calling his ability to read off a teleprompter without going off script and into a angry rant. They were focused on his tone which sounded “presidential.” The reality is that the substance of his speech was normal for him. It was …

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Asperity, Austerity and 1984: Fulfillment of 1984 & the Replication Today By The Geogre

In the first part, I talked about the false comparison of Orwell to Huxley and how features of the writing made it easy to mistake each author’s purpose and scope. However, there is something else. Neil Postman was not alone in thinking, in 1984, that we dodged a bullet and instead took a pill. I understand the feeling and shared it. It seemed like, as Lord Boyd Orr had said in 1966, “Give the people a choice between freedom and sandwiches, and they’ll take the sandwiches,” but we had already been shot but did not know the blood stain.

We were aware, then, that the public of democratic nations was placidly accepting outrages that would lead to atrocities, but I would propose that it took 2003 and George W. Bush to demonstrate to us how well television and the fragmented Internet have made every year 1984. Indeed, the television, which Postman saw as an abstracted medium that forbade long-form discourse and non-pictorial conceptualizing, would eventually resemble the view screen of 1984 as much as the Soma of Brave New World, especially cable news, where anything not at full volume and alarm was mere caesura for a day of emotional extremes and informational abbreviation. The Memory Hole was far easier to achieve by accident than plan.

I criticized Postman for a misplaced emphasis on the fiction of 1984 whereby he missed the systemic critique of the novel. The novel’s appearance in the midst of a nation enacting a policy called Austerity, where everyone was to “pitch in” to get “England” back on its feet after the war, is conspicuous and screams out for a comparison. Specifically, within the fiction and outside of it, a System of power is above the people, and the people are the enemy of power itself. Big Brother is an image or visage for a system, but the true power is no person or party — just the continuing flow of resources and labor from the people to an indifferent end. This is what is frightening. The group in charge was never fascists or Stalinists or Churchill or anyone else: it was capital.

Austerity today (the “new Austerity” in Europe and deficit mania in the U.S.) is different in cause, but the same in effect. Both ask nations to turn their GDP over to repayment of debt rather than intervention in markets to stimulate employment. The language used in both instances is similar, too: “Get back on our feet” and “recovery.” However, nation states and capital have had quite a bit of time and learned a few lessons.

We can see, in the gap of attitudes and responses of the public, the effect of social and cultural mutation. If we can see a greater or lesser increase in the effects of social control, then we can understand, I believe, just how thoroughgoing Orwell’s book was a description of an ongoing project that has now succeeded.

How to Safe Guard Social Security: Put People to Work & Expose the Lies

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In an article for FDL Action, Jon Walker cites a Gallup Poll that there are 150 million people around the world who would immigrate to the United States:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — About 13% of the world’s adults — or more than 640 million people — say they would like to leave their country permanently. Roughly 150 million of them say they would like to move to the U.S. — giving it the undisputed title as the world’s most desired destination for potential migrants since Gallup started tracking these patterns in 2007.

The relevant worth of the poll, argues Jon,

[..] because the annual Social Security Trust Fund report should be released today. As a result there will likely be much hyperventilating about how the Social Security trust fund is projected to run out of money in roughly 25 years, even though continuing payroll taxes would still be able to fund a high level of Social Security payments given current assumptions.

While the Administrators try hard to make their projections accurate, any very long term projections are inherently going to be somewhat unreliable. Trying to guess how many working Americans there will be and their average incomes in the year 2030 is basically impossible.

While current demographic trends point in one direction, it is completely possible that at some time in the next decade we could adopt policies that would increase the number of working Americans – and the collection of payroll taxes to support Social Security – well above current assumptions.

Richard (RJ) Eskow gives us the headlines that we won’t see:

“Social Security Trust Fund Even Larger Than It Was Last Year”

“Growing Wealth Inequity Will Lead to Social Security Imbalance Later This Century”

“For-Profit Healthcare Poses Threat to Medicare, Federal Deficit, and Overall Economy in Coming Decades”

“Public Consensus Grows For Taxing Wealthy to Restore Long-Term Entitlement Imbalance”

 

He chastises Stephen Ohlemacher at the Associated Press for touting the  standard doom and gloom spin on the state of Social Security and Medicare with this erroneous headline,  “Aging workforce strains Social Security, Medicare”:

Ohlemacher’s article was occasioned by the latest report from the Trustees of the fund that handles Social Security and Medicare, which will be released today. He writes that “both programs (Social Security and Medicare) are on a path to become insolvent in the coming decades, unless Congress acts, according to the trustees.”

Unfortunately the piece provides no context for the use of the term “insolvent,” which most people associate with bankruptcy or running out of funds. As Sarah Kliff explains, nobody is suggesting that either of these programs will ever run out of funds. And when programs have ongoing sources of income, the temporary absence of a surplus isn’t the same as “insolvency” as that term is commonly understood.

In fact the report will clearly state that Social Security’s Trust Fund has grown to $2.7 trillion dollars, and that Social Security will be able to pay all its benefits in full for a quarter of a century. After that, if no changes are made, it will be able to pay 75 percent of scheduled benefits without changes.

Nor is the “aging workforce” the cause for any of today’s concerns, despite the millions of dollars in advocacy money meant to make us believe that it is. We’ve known about the baby boom ever since it ended in the 1960’s, and it was fully addressed in past adjustments to the program. That’s why the program was considered perfectly solvent for the foreseeable future after the Greenspan Commission raised the retirement age and made its other adjustments in the 1980s.

Media Matters points out the how the MSM gives a hand to the “Ponzi” lie ever since Texas Gov. Rick Perry “described the program as a “Ponzi scheme”:

Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme. People who call it a Ponzi scheme are not “wrong but partially right,” they’re not “called wrong by critics” — they’re just wrong.

A Ponzi scheme is a criminal endeavor that involves opaque financial dealings that promise investment returns when none or next to none actually exist. Social Security’s finances are crystal clear, and the interest generated by its trust fund is quite real.

A Ponzi scheme eventually collapses. According to last year’s report, Social Security can continue as it is, paying full benefits for nearly 25 years, and 77 percent of promised benefits thereafter. [..]

The same false attack is likely to continue as long as newspapers insist on publishing “he said-she said” stories alongside conservative columnists intent on undermining Social Security for ideological reasons.

These false attacks are reinforced by much read and respected newspapers and on-line news sites who report comments by Social Security critics without ever challenging the reality if the accusations. Conservative hacks, like Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post  and syndicated columnist, John Stossel, continue to repeat this lie ad nauseum without correction by the editorial boards of their newspapers. Truth and facts merely get in the way.

As both writers and Media Matters point out, the solution to preserving Social Security and Medicare as we know it, is the increase the number of people in the work force (you know, real jobs), closing the income inequality gap, and either lifting the payroll tax cap or eliminating it altogether making all income subject to the tax. You know simple real solutions, not hand wringing, misleading spin and lies.

Dealing with People Who Lie 20120317

This is a very difficult topic for me, because I have now realized that I have to do that.  I wish that I did not, but I do.

Before I go on any further, let me say that I used to lie.  That was in my cheating days, and I really regret the cheating.  It destroyed my marriage, and I was married to one who still remains one of the most wonderful people in the world.

I lied to spare her feelings a bit, but honestly, to keep my ass from being trouble for the most part.  That is how liars work.  They lie to avoid the consequences of their actual actions.  But I really did, at least for some part, to spare her feelings.

Hung. Hung Over. Hung Up. Hung Out To Dry



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copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org  

With news of Congressman Anthony Weiner’s indiscretions the word “Hung” has frequently been heard. “Hung Over” too entered our conversations.  Many asked if he was.   “Hung Up” played a powerful role in reflections. “Hung Out to Dry” seems to be the consensus.  Crowds of Congressmen and women, citizens from each political Party, and even those who claim no loyalties, say, The Representative must be renounced. Few wish to admit that Anthony Weiner is but you and me.  

Supreme Court Justices, who served under Chief Jurist Brennan, perhaps, make three.  Any of us might easily say, as the Justices did decades ago; on the subject of obscene or outrageous, “I Know It When I See It.”  We each do. Still, the definitions vary.

While few of us are officially appointed to write “codes” of conduct, as the Supreme Court Justices are, we too avidly watch the actions of another and judge.

Well, well, well….Iraq=Invasion=Oil Deals

Can’t say nobody didn’t tell them so.

How much of this do you think will be reported on our 24/7 media outlets, especially in detail!!

Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

Started talking about a year before the Brits gave approval for the blair to embrace the bush!


19 April 2011 – Plans to exploit Iraq’s oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world’s largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show.

The papers, revealed here for the first time, raise new questions over Britain’s involvement in the war, which had divided Tony Blair’s cabinet and was voted through only after his claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Yep them there WMD’s, weapons of mass destruction, were all over the place along with those many other changing excuses for justification!

The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time.

The documents were not offered as evidence in the ongoing Chilcot Inquiry into the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war. In March 2003, just before Britain went to war, Shell denounced reports that it had held talks with Downing Street about Iraqi oil as “highly inaccurate”. BP denied that it had any “strategic interest” in Iraq, while Tony Blair described “the oil conspiracy theory” as “the most absurd”.

Nobody turned these over to Chilcot, wonder what else is well hidden only to come trickling out over the coming decades. And oh my, a shock, Shell oil Lied and the pols went along with it, surprise, surprise, surprise!

But documents from October and November the previous year paint a very different picture.

Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair’s military commitment to US plans for regime change.

The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP’s behalf because the oil giant feared it was being “locked out” of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.

And even More Shocking reveal, the cheney/bush were dealin with other coutries and oil firms behind the Brits back, oh my and in Secret!!

Mr Muttitt, whose book “Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq” is published next week, said: “Before the war, the Government went to great lengths to insist it had no interest in Iraq’s oil. These documents provide the evidence that give the lie to those claims.

“We see that oil was in fact one of the Government’s most important strategic considerations, and it secretly colluded with oil companies to give them access to that huge prize.”

Lady Symons, 59, later took up an advisory post with a UK merchant bank that cashed in on post-war Iraq reconstruction contracts. Last month she severed links as an unpaid adviser to Libya’s National Economic Development Board after Colonel Gaddafi started firing on protesters. Last night, BP and Shell declined to comment. {continued with some small cuts from the docs}

I’ll tell I’m Shocked, Shocked I say, oh wait a minute, I and hundreds of thousands, Millions, were saying almost exactly what this is reporting!!

Oh and Iraq’s output is up, yet so are oil prices rising, as the glut continues and nobody else stopped pumping!

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Misremembering George W. Bush

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette



Bush Memoir by Rob Rogers, see reader comments in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

George W. Bush is on a book tour with his new autobiography.  According to critics, there isn’t a lot of new or revealing material here.  W still believes the war in Iraq, tax cuts for the rich and torture were all good ideas.  He didn’t really need to publish a non-reflective memoir to tell us that.

Stop the Gripe and Groan, Mr. President



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“When I hear Democrats griping and groaning and saying … ‘the health care plan didn’t have a public option’, and … ‘the financial reform — there was a provision here that I think we should have gotten better’, or, ‘you know what, yes, you ended the war in Iraq, the combat mission there, but you haven’t completely finished the Afghan war yet’, this or that or the other, I say ‘folks, wake up’, ” Obama told wealthy donors at a Democratic National Committee dinner.

Obama told wealthy donors at a Democratic National Committee dinner.

The problem is all those things Obama is blaming liberals for ‘griping and groaning’ about: no public option, no teeth in finance reform, endless wars for profit not purpose, is because Obama has always and only been talking to wealthy donors. The corporatacracy; the financial oligarchy; the great sucking sound as the rich steal from the poor and give to the rich.

Liberals don’t need to be awakened Mr. President. You have woke us up.

Popular Culture 20100903: Wingnut Mythology

Every culture has its mythology, almost without exception, to explain why things happen the way that they do.  Before the scientific method, mythology “explained” everything.  Zeus threw down “thunderbolts” because he was displeased or to intervene with some human event.  Poseidon caused tsunamis for the same reason, and so forth essentially forever.

Then the monotheistic folks got ahold of it, and Yahweh destroyed the Earth by water because he was unhappy.  The same one destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in a rain of fire because only Lot and his family were godly.  Of course, after their mum was transmogrified into into a pillar of salt, the daughters decided that the only way that their clan could survive was to have incestuous sex with their father, and did so, and “brought forth” offspring.  Oddly, the deity did not punish them for incest, but killed their mum for looking at something.  Go figure!

This post is about other myths that are current in our culture now.  Some of them are extremely pernicious.

Confronting the inner teabagger

Read the article at HuffPo yesterday, got pissed and wrote something angry, then went to work. While at work I read some comments, though, admittedly, not all of them, and realized why so many people have a beef with HuffPo. I’m not trying to throw HuffPo under the bus, writing in anger leads to this, and I wrote in anger and put too much trust into a single source. Just because you are using a BIG NAME for a source doesn’t mean that source is right, they are just as likely to misinterpret something as you are. That is human. But there is a difference between misinterpreting and deliberately misconstruing, and since our political guard is always up about deception, and since many of us are partisans, we often frame things within our own pre-made narrative. All of these things I have been guilty of, but who among us can plead innocent among such charges?

More below the fold

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – BP is the New BS

Crossposted at Daily Kos

THE WEEK IN EDITORIAL CARTOONS

This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

:: ::



Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

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