Does It Sound Familiar?

Just a closing thought for this Saturday…..the rain will not let up and MoMo is letting me know she wants me to make it stop.

In this age of fake news, misinformation, disinformation and propaganda I thought I would leave you with a little history……

The talking points out of the White House….they seem to have a familiar ring to them….at least to me……

Have you been paying attention?

And the rains came…..and attention is focused elsewhere.

Have a wonderful day and see you tomorrow.


Smells Like Disinformation

We live in an age of disinformation…..we can re-cover the dialog for the last 24 months…but why? If you believe bullshit nothing I say will change that. But I do want to talk about this disinformation thing.

I have written about it before on several occasions…..

But we know that there are many people that will willful show their ignorance because someone has said something they want to believe….whether accurate or not……so let us look into this thing called “disinformation”……

Disinformation is the deliberate and purposeful distribution of false information. The term is generally used to describe an organized campaign to deceptively distribute untrue material intended to influence public opinion.

In recent years, the term has become especially associated with the spread of “fake news” on social media as a strategy of negative political campaigning.

A key component of the definition of disinformation is the intention of the person or entity creating the message. Disinformation is distributed with the specific purpose of misleading the public. The false information is meant to impact society by swaying the opinions of the members of the audience.

One might scratch one’s head and ask….how can this be?

A new survey from the Pew Research Center has found that many Americans cannot recognise the hypothesis part of the scientific method when confronted with a problem in everyday life.

“In an era of easy access to a wide array of information, along with sometimes-intense debate over what information is true and false, this survey takes stock of the degree to which the public shares a common understanding of science facts and processes,” says Cary Funk, director of science and society research at Pew Research Center.

It wasn’t all bad news – Americans’ knowledge of specific scientific facts seemed pretty good. But their understanding of the scientific method was more worrisome.

With more than 4,000 respondents, only 52 percent could correctly identify a scientific hypothesis about a computer slowing down.

We have an absolute expert at bullshit in the White House……he passes on crap and his lackeys will do everything possible to spread the same bullshit to make him appear as if he is telling the truth…..or to give the impression that he, Trump, is knowledgeable……

Disinformation is a pure form of propaganda and we live in world where few know what is truth or fantasy.

The Longest War Ignored

Morning my friends….I hope all had a good weekend and are ready for another week of stuff.

Let’s get busy!

For months, nay years, we have been warning the population about the creeping demon of disinformation….okay call it fake news….does not matter….it is all the same.

A flash from the past is starting to make a come back….the tired old slogan of anti-communism… is being seen once again…can Elvis be far behind?

Anti-communism is back in vogue — not just among the right but also in so-called progressive blue states.

Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency have ushered in a tide of blatantly racist, classist, sexist and politically repressive nostalgia, encapsulated by his ominous slogan, “Make America Great Again.” As Trump and his Republican allies work to dismantle civil, voting, reproductive and immigration rights, another vestige of the past — anti-communism — has begun to reappear.

Fox News is but one purveyor of this ideology. As commentator after commentator sees it, communism stifles the spark that promotes competition and human advancement. In fact, any positive mention of communism is quickly and repeatedly condemned. For example, when MIT Press published a book called Communism for Kids, in April, newscasters immediately made it headline news, denouncing the text as “propaganda and revisionist theory” and lampooned the idea that capitalism causes misery among a swath of the population.

Source: Red Scare Redux 2017: From Right-Wing Radio to Brooklyn

All this is so much fake news and disinformation…..the radical Right has done an excellent job of selling crap to the dolts that hang on their every word…..

It has been a long drawn out war but the Rad Right is winning…..

Never in modern American history has a president so frontally gone to war with the media as Donald Trump, whose speeches and tweet storms blast critical stories as “fake news” and mainstream news outlets as “the enemy of the American people.”

“Get used to being stigmatized as ‘opposition,’” the head of media at Human Rights Watch warned reporters and editors shortly after the election. “[Trump’s] basic idea is simple: to delegitimize accountability journalism by framing it as partisan.”

So far, the Trumpian strategy seems to be working, at least with his base. A recent poll found that fewer than 10 percent of Republicans trust the media a lot, and 6 in 10 complain that the media “keep political leaders from doing their job.”

Source: The Right’s Long War on Media – Consortiumnews

A long war indeed……and few pushed back on bullshit……

Right-wing media evolved into a hall of mirrors in 2016, when Breitbart displaced Fox News as the key agenda-setting and attack-leading epicenter of a disinformation-filled, paranoid ecosystem promoting Donald Trump and his pro-white America agenda.

Breitbart not only led the right’s obsessive, hostile focus on immigrants, it was also the first to attack professional reporting such as the New York Times and Washington Post. Breitbart’s disruptive template fueled the political and information universe we now inhabit, where the right dismisses facts and embraces fantasies.

Source: Study: How Breitbart Media’s Disinformation Created the Paranoid, Fact-Averse Nation That Elected Trump | Alternet

Communism is a clever word because of the users are too stupid to find a real word to describe a situation…..most of the dolts that use the term would not know a “socialist”/Communist” if it ran up and bit them in the ass.

Argumentum ad populum–Revisited

College of Political Knowledge

Professor’s Classroom

Subject: Political Theory/Elections/Campaigns

Paper #31

Do you watch the news? You know all those Medicare recipients that are bitching about a government take over of Health care….or all those macho little pricks with their guns worn in public…or maybe elected officials that are spouting fears of socialism or out right lying to stir up the people in opposition to any Dem health care agenda coming out of Washington.

I know….I know all that is old hat….so what is new?

Since most schools have eliminated the teaching of Latin and I do not want my reader to have a brain aneurysm trying to decipher the title of this post….let me help out….”argumentum ad populum”…..In Logic, a proposition to be true because many or all people believe it; it alleges, “If many believe so, it is so.

Just where am I going with this? Right? Good question and hopefully you will get your answer.

The idea has many names: appeal to the masses, strong appeal to belief, strong appeal to the majority, strong appeal to the people, strong argument by consensus, strong authority of the many, and strong bandwagon fallacy.

See what I am saying? The GOP is plying this tactic in the health care debate. That is to use every tactic available to sway a mass amount of people that will make the case for them. It is a fallacious argument at best…but it is effective if one figures in the rational ignorance effect. (for definition, go to my page with the same name).

How about a little clarification?

The argumentum ad populum is a “Red herring (fallacy)”. It appeals on probabilistic terms; given that 75% of a population answer A to a question where the answer is unknown, the argument states that it is reasonable to assume that the answer is indeed A. In cases where the answer can be known but is not known by a questioned entity, the appeal to majority provides a possible answer with a relatively high probability of correctness.

It is logically fallacious because the mere fact that a belief is widely held is not necessarily a guarantee that the belief is correct; if the belief of any individual can be wrong, then the belief held by multiple persons can also be wrong. The argument that because 75% of people polled think the answer is A implies that the answer is A fails, for if opinion did determine truth, there be no way to deal with the discrepancy between the 75% of the sample population that believe the answer is A and 25% who are of the opinion that the answer is not A. However small the percentage of those polled is distributed among any remaining answers, this discrepancy by definition disproves any guarantee of the correctness of the majority. In addition, this would be true even if the answer given by those polled were unanimous, as the sample size may be insufficient, or some fact may be unknown to those polled that, if known, would result in a different distribution of answers.

Thanx to wiki for the above definition.

Polls are used in this way….i.e. if the prez has 51% approval down from 56% then the people are losing confidence…..,good work, but that is not necessarily the case. The idea is to make it look as if more people believe in a thing and in doing so, that it is correct and true. Once again , not necessarily so.

People need to check everything they are told…most times it is either misinformation, taken out of context or an outright LIE!  Just look at the polls that are out now….31% on the responders think Pres. Obama is a Muslim… what was all the finger pointing about back during the election when HIS pastor made some inappropriate statements….all the crap about how could he attend a church where thew pastor was so radical…a Muslim would NOT attend a Christian church…so what is this whole Muslim thing all about?

The only thing that it shows me is that Americans are gullible and have NO memory at all when it comes to politics……they are subject to the “argumentum ad populum” ….saying so makes it so!  A STUPID way to approach the important issues in our society.

And The Lies Live On…….

A Daily Agitation

You know I have been watching, writing and analyzing politics for about four decades, but I can safely say that this year, 2009, is the worst case scenario for political lies and misinformation trying to sway a public on a specific issue, in this case it is health care reform.

We have heard all the crap…the death panels…a death book……creeping socialism….or was it creeping fascism?  But yesterday I read the best lie of the season, it came from Clark County, Washington:

Raymond and Louise Denny of La Center were surprised last week to receive a mailing from Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, entitled “2009 Future of American Health Survey.”

After reading it, their surprise turned to outrage.

They were especially irked by the following:

“It has been suggested that the government could use voter registration to determine a person’s political affiliation, prompting fears that GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health care rationing system. Does this possibility concern you?”

The GOP cannot help themselves, apparently….they cannot stop the partisan BS…..they feel they have to make up stuff to influence the people to their way of thinking…….cool….but try coming up with an alternative plan….or possibly telling the truth……I know those are novel ideas and may be a stretch for the party….but to continue along these lines of lying and misinformation does nothing to make the GOP look like a viable alternative to the Dems.

It is impossible to come up with an alternative as long as they have members that think like this:

One of the most vociferous opponents of health care reform has been Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who previously promoted blocking reform because it would be a “huge gain” for the GOP.

At a town hall meeting Wednesday Sen. Jim Inhofe told Chickasha residents he does not need to read the 1,000 page health care reform bill, he will simply vote against it.

I don’t have to read it, or know what’s in it. I’m going to oppose it anyways,” he said.

And Repubs get irrate if it is said that ther GOP is the party of NO…..but what else could you call it when members say things like that?  The GOP attacks every position the Dems have and they are truly pissed about the possibility of the Dems using reconciliation, that is the use of 51 votes in the Senate to pass legislation.  The Repubs are calling it everything but what it is…legal and lawful.

In the early years of the 21st century when Bush passed his tax cuts reconciliation was used and it was said of it back then….remember the Repubs had a majority in the Senate….

quote from Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH):

“Reconciliation is a rule of the Senate (that) has been used before for purposes exactly like this on numerous occasions.” … “Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don’t think so. … The point, of course, is this: If you have 51 votes for your position, you win.”

Interesting eh?  How they want to change the rules to suit their interests.

The BS gets deeper…….the stakes are high….and the lies live on…..

See, Lies DO Work!

Yesterday I had a post entitled “Argumentum ad populum” which I pointed out that “if enough people believe a thing then it must be so” and my point has been proven…..

For several months the Repubs in Congress have been feeding the population misinformation about the health care bill in Congress.  Most of their attacks are taken out of context from the bill and embellished to make it more freightening than it really is.  I have heard that little of this is really working on the population.  But a very recent NBC News/WSJ poll proves that the liues are working and working well.

The poll that was recently taken had a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.  When the people were asked about some of the stories in the news pertaining to the Dems Health bill, their responses were as follows:

Will give health care coverage to illegal aliens……….55% said yes

Will lead to the government take over of health care……..54% said yes

Will use taxpayers money to pay for women’s abortions……50% said yes

Will allow the government to decide when to stop supplying medical care to the elderly…..45% said yes

Those questions were of the misinformation about the health bill and have been attacked by the conservs and have been reported extensively on conserv news outlets.  BTW, there is no such sections for any of those questions in the proposed health bill.

I thank NBC News and the poll respondents for proving my point……that if enough people are misinformed and believe the lies then they belive it must be truth.

Misinformation Abounds

While reading and researching for some future posts I found this article written by Benjamin H. Friedman on The CATO @ Liberty website.

The Heritage Foundation has a chart up on its blog, showing defense spending as a percentage of gross domestic product and declaring that “Obama plan cuts defense spending to pre-9/11 levels.”This is a standard rhetorical device for defense hawks (see the Wall Street Journal editorial page, Mitt Romney and lots of others) so it’s worth pointing out that it’s misleading. The unfortunate truth is that Obama is increasing non-war defense spending this year and seems likely to increase it at least by inflation in the near future.

It’s true that defense spending will probably decline as a percentage of GDP, assuming the economy recovers. But that’s because GDP grows. Ours is more than six times bigger than it was in 1950.  Meanwhile, we spend more on defense in real, inflation adjusted terms, than we did then, at the height of the Cold War. The denoninator has grown faster than the numerator.

tor.By saying that defense spending needs to grow with GDP to be “level,” you are arguing for an annual increase in defense spending without saying so directly. That’s the point, of course.

To be straight with readers, charts that show defense spending as a percentage of GDP should either show GDP growth over time or include a line that shows defense spending in real terms. Otherwise they fail to demonstrate that the decline in defense spending as a percentage of GDP is a consequence of growing GDP, not lower spending.

The assumption in analysis like Heritage’s is that defense spending should be a function of economic growth, not enemies and strategies for defending against them.  It’s easy to point out that this is strategically and fiscally foolish. And it’s worth noting, as I have on many occasions, that we face a benign threat environment and can cut defense spending massively as a result.

But there is something weirder going on here that warrants mention.  Arguing that wealth creation should drive defense spending is to attempt to divorce the military from its strategic rationale. That’s an implicit acknowledgment that defense spending is not for safety.  High military spending in this worldview is either an end in itself or a partisan or cultural tool.

I have been trying to point out that to gain political advantage, both sides of the political aisle will use misinformation…lies is a better word, but not preferred.  This is not something new, but a continuing saga of ruthless BS to gain political advantage.

DO NOT trust politicians to tell the truth….find the truth and then make your decision.