Truth And Lies

That seems to be the way of things these days…..we have truth and we have lies and it is up to the individual to ascertain which is which…..and there in lies the problem…..thanx to social media and the media itself have blurred the lines…..

This first story was written in 2020…..but it still helps the understanding….

Many of us are familiar with the quotation, “Repeat a lie often enough and people will eventually come to believe it.”

Not ironically, the adage — often attributed to the infamous Nazi Joseph Goebbels — is true and has been validated by decades of research on what psychology calls the “illusory truth effect.” First described in a 1977 study by Temple University psychologist Dr. Lynn Hasher and her colleagues, the illusory truth effect occurs when repeating a statement increases the belief that it’s true even when the statement is actually false.[1]

Subsequent research has expanded what we know about the illusory truth effect. For example, the effect doesn’t only occur through repetition but can happen through any process that increases familiarity with a statement or the ease by which it’s processed by the brain (what psychologists in this context refer to as a statement’s “fluency”). For example, the perceived truth of written statements can be increased by presenting them in bold, high-contrast fonts[2] or when aphorisms are expressed as a rhyme.[3]

According to a 2010 meta-analytic review of the truth effect (which applies to both true and false statements),[4] while the perceived credibility of a statement’s source increases perceptions of truth as we might expect, the truth effect persists even when sources are thought to be unreliable and especially when the source of the statement is unclear. In other words, while we typically evaluate a statement’s truth based on the trustworthiness of the source, repeated exposure to both information and misinformation increases the sense that it’s true, regardless of the source’s credibility.

The illusory truth effect tends to be strongest when statements are related to a subject about which we believe ourselves to be knowledgeable,[5] and when statements are ambiguous such that they aren’t obviously true or false at first glance.[4] It can also occur with statements (and newspaper headlines) that are framed as questions (e.g. “Is President Obama a Muslim?”), something called the “innuendo effect.”[6]

View at

Now this report on the mass media and its part at spreading the manure….

A recent case rightly illustrates the confounding way truth and lies spread in mass media. On June 15, 2017, The New York Post published this headline: “Breatharian Couple Survives on the Universe’s Energy Instead of Food.” Now, The New York Post is a big paper—the sixth largest, by circulation, in the United States—and it’s an old paper, established in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton. But headlines like this show that even the mainstream media can sometimes stretch the truth, or just ignore it completely.

In skimming the New York Post article, it’s not just the headline, but the whole article is silly. And this was not an April Fool’s joke. The article says “Husband and wife Akahi Ricardo and Camila Castello believe that food and water aren’t necessary and humans can be sustained solely by the energy of the universe.” They’ve eaten, we’re told, just three times a week since 2008, and even then only a piece of fruit or vegetable broth. Furthermore, the couple didn’t eat a single thing for three years. Ms. Castello didn’t eat during her first pregnancy, either, because as she declared, “I knew my son would be nourished enough by my love.” 

For the record, people can’t survive without nourishment, and we are required to get our nourishment from food. These facts should not be controversial. But the New York Post article presented the story of this so-called Breatharian couple as fact. There wasn’t a word of skepticism, or an iota of fact-checking, or even a hint that this story wasn’t literally true.

Truth and Lies in Mass Media

On a side note….did the AP strike a deal with Nazi Germany for propaganda purposes… knew that eventually I was going to interject some history….

Even the Associated Press has its secrets.

A recent report, declassified by the AP itself, discloses information about the news outlet’s coverage of WWII, and the role that Nazi soldiers may have had in it. According to the internal report released Wednesday, the AP made a deal to exchange photos with Nazi soldiers. The photos were run in American newspapers, without crediting their origins. In turn, AP photos were used by Nazi soldiers for Nazi propaganda.

An investigation was open into the long-secret arrangement after German historian Harriet Scharnberg published an article in March of 2016 accusing the AP of Nazi cooperation. Scharnberg’s research pointed out that pictures supplied by the AP were being published in propaganda publications, such as “Der Untermensch” (The Subhuman). Scharnberg also stated that by submitting to “Schriftleitergesetz or editors law, the AP relinquished control of the content that they released to German publications. Therefore, the AP’s content fell under instruction not to print any material “calculated to weaken the strength of the Reich abroad or at home.”

Media spreading manure goes back a ways…..

Who do you trust?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Do You Remember the ‘Domino Theory’?

Of course you do not if you are younger than 40.

For those too young to remember a controlling policy of the US foreign policy then I shall explain it to you.

The Domino Theory was a prevailing belief that communism was an internationalist movement that would spread from one country to the next until it dominated the world, much as a row of dominos collapses one after the other. The Domino Theory was accepted by a succession of United States presidents and Western policymakers. As a result, it shaped the foreign policy of the US and its allies during the Cold War.

Western leaders believed that once communism gained a foothold in a nation, its neighbors would quickly be infiltrated, overrun and seized by communists – much like a row of standing dominos topples, one knocking over the next until all have fallen.

Take Southeast Asia….if Vietnam fell then all countries around it would as well….Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, etc on and on until it consumed the world….it being Communism.

The first public mention of it was made by US president Eisenhower in a speech in 1954, where he explained why America would aid the French in their struggle against communists in Indochina (Vietnam).

“[There are] broader considerations that might follow what you would call the ‘falling domino’ principle. You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly… But when we come to the possible sequence of events, the loss of Indochina, of Burma, of Thailand, of the Peninsula (Malaysia and Singapore) and Indonesia following, now you begin to talk about … millions and millions and millions of people.”

Apparently the theory is making a resurgence…..the tale is the Russia will not be happy with Ukraine….thoughts from a post by Ted Galen Carpenter

The notion that a country with an economy just modestly larger than Spain’s and a military budget less than one-tenth the size of the US military budget could pose a threat of that magnitude should seem absurd on its face. Even without Washington’s involvement, Russian forces would have difficulty conquering even one major European power, much less NATO Europe as a whole.

Moreover, the assumption ignores extensive evidence that Ukraine is uniquely important to Russia for both cultural and security reasons. In particular, Russian leaders were not about to allow the United States to turn Ukraine into a NATO military asset directed against their country. It does not follow at all that they would make a similar effort or incur comparable risks to conduct a geo-strategic offensive against other portions of Europe. Even if Ukraine falls to the Kremlin’s current military operation, there is no credible reason to assume that Poland, the Baltic republics, or Slovakia – much less such major powers as Germany, France, or Italy – would be next on an expansionist agenda.

A similar simplistic formulation is beginning to influence thinking in the United States regarding policy toward China, especially among the growing roster of anti-PRC hawks. The underlying assumption is that if Beijing successfully uses coercion to gain control of Taiwan, the PRC will then pose an expansionist threat to all of East Asia and become a candidate for global hegemony. Just as analysts who embrace a refurbished domino theory with regard to Russia ignore Ukraine’s exceptional importance to Moscow, people who contend that Beijing’s acquisition of Taiwan would trigger an expansionist binge ignore the island’s unique status for PRC leaders and China’s population. For many Chinese, Taiwan is the last unresolved territorial issue from the civil war that ended on the mainland with a communist victory in 1949. The island also is seen as territory that a foreign power (Japan) stole during China’s “long century of humiliation.”

The domino theory was simplistic nonsense when Eisenhower presented it in the 1950s. The current zombie version is equally detached from reality. It needs to be rejected emphatically, lest it entangle the United States in even larger unnecessary, disastrous conflicts than the original version did.


The US and its War Department will clutch at old straws to keep the cash flowing and the people in fear.

STOP! believing the hype!

Especially if it comes for the War Department and its civilian agents.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Office Of Perception Management

The War Department’s clever name for a propaganda machine.

But they do not need it for we have clarity and transparency in our democracy. (that is sarcasm in case you missed it)

Would our government use propaganda?

You bet your ass they would especially when public approval is needed they will lie and misinform to keep the public dazed and confused makes acceptance of crappy policies palatable.

But let’s go back to the 1980s and the Reagan admin……

Not long after the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration launched what it called the Office of Strategic Influence, which would seek to “counter the enemy’s perception management” in the so-called war on terror. But it quickly became clear that the office, operating under Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, would be managing those perceptions with its own disinformation.

As the New York Times reported at the time, its work was to “provide news items, possibly including false ones, to foreign journalists in an effort to influence overseas opinion.” In the nascent Internet age, observers worried the propaganda could boomerang back on Americans.

“The question is whether the Pentagon and military should undertake an official program that uses disinformation to shape perceptions abroad,” the Times reported in 2004. “But in a modern world wired by satellite television and the Internet, any misleading information and falsehoods could easily be repeated by American news outlets.”

Now, two decades later, “perception management” is once again becoming a central focus for the national security state. On March 1, 2022, the Pentagon established a new office with similar goals to the one once deemed too controversial to remain open. Very little has been made public about the effort, which The Intercept learned about through a review of budget documents and an internal memo we obtained. This iteration is called the Influence and Perception Management Office, or IPMO, according to the memo, which was produced by the office for an academic institution, and its responsibilities include overseeing and coordinating the various counter-disinformation efforts being conducted by the military, which can include the U.S.’s own propaganda abroad.

Inside the Pentagon’s New “Perception Management” Office to Counter Disinformation

I have been saying this for decades….[lus with social media I am sure that some of us have been a target for the trash spread by the Pentagon and its contractors.

Americans bad mouth Joseph Goebbels and his Ministry of Truth…..looks like we have some that are following the textbook to a tee.

Pay attention or be stupid your choice.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Long Peace

The war ended in1945 with the defeat of the axis powers…..and Europe entered into an age of reconstruction and a long peace(?).

Then there is Asia.

Japan surrendered after the US dropped 2 nukes on their homeland….unfortunately Asia did not have the same reaction to the end of the war.

Violence erupted everywhere….China, Vietnam, Indonesia so on and so on….But why was there little peace in the Far East?

And yes this is one of those historical perspectives that I have become famous for throwing at my readers.

Decolonisation is one reason for the eruption of violence across the Asian continent. The outbreak of civil wars from the ruins of the Second World War was another historical phenomenon that contributed to the instability of the region, as local actors sought to take advantage of the changes in the balance of power on the ground to build new postcolonial states to their liking. Ho Chi Minh and his Communist Party may have defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu, but they also attacked non-communist nationalists who had rejected their right to rule an independent – communist – Vietnam. If the communists dominated their Vietnamese adversaries during the First Indochina War, in Indonesia a series of violent civil clashes saw the non-communist Republicans led by Sukarno vanquish their communist competitors. The Chinese civil war is another example that Spector analyses: civil and national wars of liberation continued across Asia beyond 1945, something that Europe did not encounter (with the important exception of Greece).

The Cold War did much to spread violence across the Asian continent. The key moment was the victory of the Chinese communists over the nationalists in 1949, prompting American efforts to contain the potential Sino-Soviet threat to the region. Contesting ideologies were part of the problem. So were security concerns. The spectre of the Japanese march across the Pacific in 1941-42 was never far from American minds. But the same was true for Mao, who feared the possibility of another hostile invasion coming from the sea. Spector deftly shows how, between 1950 and 1954, the Americans and the Chinese clashed directly in Korea and indirectly in Vietnam, entangling their struggles for ideological influence and national security with the civil and colonial wars that had been brewing across the continent for years.

Some of the problems the US is having in Asia these days can be traced back to the end of World War 2…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

World War Two Behind The Scenes

I like history but most people deplore the thought of remembering anything they do not understand.

There are many things about this war that few know anything about….basically because because they do not want to know they had rather believe the lopsided stories they have been told.

About the only thing anyone can recall is that ill-fated statement by Chamberlain (a post for another day)

Me? I like to look beyond the popular crap and do a deeper dive.

So were there any efforts to avoid World War 2….beyond that famous statement by Chamberlain…..( I know there will be inevitable condemnation of Chamberlain’s efforts…please don’t)

There are many military historians who are familiar with the battlefield history of World War Two but few know much about the diplomatic history of the war when it comes to peace initiatives, long suppressed by liberal establishment historians, to terminate the war, in many cases years before it ended in actual history, or even prevent it from happening at all. Americans have been indoctrinated to believe since grade school that the war could not have been averted and that our only mistake was not invading and crushing Nazi Germany in its cradle when it was still military inferior and in the process of rebuilding its armed forces following the crushing disarmament constraints of the Treaty of Versailles.

According to the dominant historical narrative, Hitler could not be trusted to keep any of his agreements so any negotiated peace settlement would only delay the inevitable. The only problem with this accepted historical narrative of the war is that none of it is true. These peace offers, which have been largely covered up and/or erased from the annals of history, serve to convincingly rebut the myth that Hitler, an evil dictator who mass murdered five to six million Jews, was undeterrable and unappeasable. They provide convincing evidence that World War Two was, in fact, neither a necessary nor inevitable war to stop a dictator who was bent on nothing less than world conquest as Americans have been taught to believe.

However, the most glaring historical misconception of the war by far, which has since been used to justify numerous wars including an indefinite, unnecessary, destabilizing and incredibly dangerous prolongation of America’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, was that it was Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler with the Munich Agreement that caused the outbreak of World War Two and therefore the chief lesson of the war is that we must never accommodate our adversaries or else they will be emboldened to invade other countries and perhaps start another world war. In fact, it was not the British policy of accommodating Nazi Germany that caused the outbreak of World War Two but rather it was Chamberlain’s decision to abruptly abandon it and issue an ill-considered British military guarantee against a German invasion that Hitler had never previously considered, in view of the fact that Hitler had spent the previous five years trying to cultivate Poland as an ally against the USSR, that resulted in the outbreak of the war.

There is always more to any war than what lopsided history has taught…..this includes all wars….including the most recent one that all have very strong opinions about as a bit deluded that they are)

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

GOP–Where It All Began

There are many opinions running around the internet on the GOP….most of it is all about the party for the last 15 or so years…..but how many have nay damn idea where it all began and why?

That’s right….you are in for some knowledge….I know that is a bad word these days of idiots….there is no such things as bad knowledge just morons that cannot find the time to pull their heads of of their asses to learn something.

The year is 1854…..the place was Ripon, Wisconsin…..

Trying times spawn new forces. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 divided the country at the 36° 30′ parallel between the pro-slavery, agrarian South and anti-slavery, industrial North, creating an uneasy peace which lasted for three decades. This peace was shattered in 1854 by the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Settlers would decide if their state would be free or slave. Northern leaders such as Horace Greeley, Salmon Chase and Charles Sumner could not sit back and watch the flood of pro-slavery settlers cross the parallel. A new party was needed.

Where was the party born? Following the publication of the “Appeal of Independent Democrats” in major newspapers, spontaneous demonstrations occurred. In early 1854, the first proto-Republican Party meeting took place in Ripon, Wisconsin. On July 6, 1854 on the outskirts of Jackson, Michigan upwards of 10,000 people turned out for a mass meeting “Under the Oaks.” This led to the first organizing convention in Pittsburgh on February 22, 1856.

The gavel fell to open the party’s first nominating convention, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 1856, announcing the birth of the Republican Party as a unified political force.

The Republican Party name was christened in an editorial written by New York newspaper magnate Horace Greeley. Greeley printed in June 1854: “We should not care much whether those thus united (against slavery) were designated ‘Whig,’ ‘Free Democrat’ or something else; though we think some simple name like ‘Republican’ would more fitly designate those who had united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty rather than propagandist of slavery.”

In the beginning the GOP was not all that bad….as late as 1956 their platform was something that even a hard Leftist like me could have supported.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

History’s Evil Women

Women’s History #6

It is women’s history month and most posts are about the accomplishments of women like Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Gertrude Bell, etc…..but who has ever mentioned those women that were just plain damn evil?

Let me one of the first to bring you the 10 most evil women in history….

Number 10…Mary Queen of Scotland

Mary was the only child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon to live past infancy. Crowned after the death of Edward VI and the removal of The Nine Days Queen-Lady Jane Grey, Mary is chiefly remembered for temporarily and violently returning England to Catholicism. Many prominent Protestants were executed for their beliefs leading to the moniker “Bloody Mary.” Fearing the gallows a further 800 Protestants left the country, unable to return until her death. It should be noted that Elizabeth I shares position 10 on this list for her equally bad behavior.

Number 9….Myra Hindley, a murderer….

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were responsible for the “Moors murders” occurring in the Manchester area of Britain from 1963 to 1965. Together these two monsters were responsible for the kidnapping, sexual abuse, torture, and murder of three children under the age of 12 and two teenagers, aged 16 and 17. A key found in Myra’s possession led to incriminating evidence stored at a left-luggage depot at Manchester Central Station. The evidence included a tape recording of one of the murder victims screaming as Hindley and Brady raped and tortured her. In the final days before incarceration, she developed a swagger and arrogant attitude that became her trademark. Police secretary Sandra Wilkinson has never forgotten seeing Hindley and her mother Nellie, leaning against the courthouse eating sweets. While the mother was obviously and understandably upset, Hindley seemed indifferent and uncaring of her situation.

There are more waiting for you to learn about their lives.

This ends my women’s history series….hopefully my readers learned something and will retain what they learned.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

To Arrest A President

Yes more history from the old Professor.

All the blah blah about the possibility of the arrest of an American president, Donald Trump. Many have raised concern because no American president has been arrested so why start a precedent now.   (Personally I think many of them should have been….but that is just me)

There are the so-called Dems that keep going on and on without much thought behind their idiotic ramblings.

All that aside has any president ever been arrested?

Glad you asked….yes there has been one incident.

There is a lot of hullaballoo about whether former President Trump will soon be indicted, but there is one former president who was definitely arrested while in office: Ulysses S. Grant. The crime, per the Washington Post, was born of “Grant’s love of fast horses,” and ended with the arrest of a sitting president by a Black man who had served in his army during the Civil War. The Post cites a 1908 story in the Washington Evening Star in which one since-retired police officer, William H. West, gave a bit of a tell-all about the time in 1872 in which he arrested his former boss. It goes a little like this:

DC cops had been getting complaints of speeding carriages; there had been an accident, and West was investigating when another group of scofflaws sped toward him. He flagged them down, including one man driving “a pair of fast steppers,” per the Star story, which “he had some difficulty in halting.” It was the president, He was less than pleased, asking West, “what do you want with me?” West informed him that he was “violating the law by speeding along this street,” and further had “set an example for a lot of other gentlemen.” Grant made his apologies, said it would never happen again, and was let off with a warning. But the next night, West again busted Grant going so fast that, per the Post, “it took him an entire block to stop.” Grant told West he had no idea he was going so fast.

This time West wasn’t having it. He told the Star that Grant was smiling and looked like a busted schoolkid. West’s quote, which granted is recalling a 36-year-old incident, is thus: “I am very sorry, Mr. President, to have to do it. For you are the chief of the nation, and I am nothing but a policeman, but duty is duty, sir, and I will have to place you under arrest.” And so he did. Grant and some other alleged speeders went down to the DC pokey, and the sitting president of the United States of America had to pony up $20 as collateral. A trial was held for the drivers the next day, and fines and a “scathing rebuke” were issued. But the president, dear readers, was a no-show.

If Trump is arrested he would not be the first.

But that was then and this is now….different times indeed.

So what will all this notoriety do for his possible campaign?

First of all, let’s get the obvious question out of the way: No, the indictment of Donald Trump does not bar him from running for president. In fact, even a conviction likely wouldn’t put the kibosh on his presidential campaign. “There are actually not that many constitutional requirements to run for president,” a law professor explains to the Washington Post. “There is not an explicit prohibition in the Constitution in respects to having a pending indictment or even being convicted.” The Post notes, however, that practically speaking, it could be difficult to run for president and face a criminal trial at the same time.

Do not excited right now.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Women’s History #5

World War 2 brought the capabilities of women as spies and resistance participants to the forefront…..these brave women were part of the war effort working for a section known as the S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive)….

There numbers were decimated by either incompetent leadership or a spy within the organization….I feel it was a little of both.

But let’s look at the brave women of World War 2……

After France signed an armistice with Germany in June 1940, Great Britain feared the shadow of Nazism would continue to fall over Europe. Dedicated to keeping the French people fighting, Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged the United Kingdom’s support to the resistance movement. Charged with “set(ting) Europe ablaze,” the Special Operations Executive, or SOE, was born.

Headquartered at 64 Baker Street in London, the SOE’s official purpose was to put British special agents on the ground to “coordinate, inspire, control and assist the nationals of the oppressed countries.” Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton borrowed irregular warfare tactics used by the Irish Republican Army two decades before. The “Baker Street Irregulars,” as they came to be known, were trained in sabotage, small arms, radio and telegraph communication and unarmed combat. SOE agents were also required to be fluent in the language of the nation in which they would be inserted so they could fit into the society seamlessly. If their presence aroused undue suspicion, their missions could well be over before they even began.

Extensive training in resisting interrogation and how to evade capture underscored the gravity of their missions. Fear of the Gestapo was real and well-founded. Some agents hid suicide pills in their coat buttons in case they could not escape. They knew it was unlikely they would see their homes in the British Commonwealth again, but accepted the risk.

Irregular missions required irregular materiel. The SOE Operations and Research section developed unique devices for agents to use in sabotage and close-range combat. Their inventions, including an exploding pen and weapons hidden in everyday objects like umbrellas and pipes, would even inspire Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. Operations and Research also developed a foldable bike called the Welbike, but it was unreliable on rough terrain. Most of the groups’ inventions, like waterproof containers that protected agents’ supplies during parachute jumps, were more practical.

I have watched several documentaries on those women and their stories need to be told and told often.

Sadly their contributions to the war effort have mostly been overlooked or forgotten…..that needs to change.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

How Soon We Forget

Back in the day, the early 1980s, I was teaching a class on US foreign policy and the first day I handed out a map of Asia and asked the class to circle Vietnam on the map…..only one junior in class got the question right and he was one of the last units to leave the country….

I thought then that it was sad that so many students did no idea about the war that was over less than 10 years before.

That memory came back after I read an article in ‘The Conversation” about the last Iraq War.

The United States invaded Iraq 20 years ago in March 2003, claiming it had to disarm the Iraqi government of weapons of mass destruction and end the dictatorial rule of President Saddam Hussein.

U.S. soldiers captured Saddam in December 2003. And a 15-month search revealed that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction to seize.

But the conflict between Western powers and Iraq dragged on until 2011. More than 4,600 American soldiers died in combat – and thousands more died by suicide after they returned home.

More than 288,000 Iraqis, including fighters and civilians, have died from war-related violence since the invasion.

The war cost the U.S. over $2 trillion.

And Iraq is still dealing with widespread political violence between rival religious-political groups and an unstable government.

Most of these problems stem directly or indirectly from the war. The 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and the war that followed are defining events in the histories of both countries – and the region. Yet, for many young people in the United States, drawing a connection between the war and its present-day impact is becoming more difficult. For them, the war is an artifact of the past.

I am a Middle East historian and an Islamic studies scholar who teaches two undergraduate courses that cover the 2003 invasion and the Iraq War. My courses attract students who hope to work in politics, law, government and nonprofit groups, and whose personal backgrounds include a range of religious traditions, immigration histories and racial identities.

How sad is that?

Americans fought and died and no one gives a crap.

Just as Vietnam has become a forgotten war so shall Iraq…..and this scenario will happen all over again because no one wants to remember the sacrifice of their countrymen.

A bunch of candy ass morons!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”