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Finding the Forgotten Majority

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Posted on Jan 14, 2011

By David Sirota

“There is a need for some reflection here: What is too far now? What was too far when Oklahoma City happened is accepted now. There’s been a desensitizing. These town halls and cable TV and talk radio, everybody’s trying to outdo each other.”

Those were the words of an unnamed Republican senator after America’s latest shooting rampage, this one a political assassination attempt in Tucson, Ariz. How sad—and telling—that the lawmaker refused to attach his or her name to such an important truism.

But that is the larger story of the slaughter’s aftermath. As conservative pundits spent the week insisting that their violent political rhetoric is somehow unrelated to political violence; as Sarah “Don’t Retreat, Reload” Palin scrubbed her website of rifle-sight graphics targeting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords; as right-wing radio hosts sanitized the Tucson shooter as a “lone gunman” rather than a “terrorist”—in the midst of all this obfuscation, few public figures found the courage to acknowledge truths that so desperately need to be aired.

One of those truths is that media can set societal norms and, thus, can help create conditions for violence—whether a mass murder in Tucson, an IRS bombing in Austin or any other future massacre. Another less obvious truth is that the new media economy encourages ever more violent vitriol because that’s now become the most reliable way to build a following and, thus, generate profit.

Save for sensationalists like Rupert Murdoch, media owners today aren’t deliberately manufacturing this dangerous dynamic—for the most part, it reflects a convergence of market forces. In this brave new world of infinite information conduits, the audience is more fragmented than ever. That has made the pursuit of audience share more intense, ultimately rewarding the loudest violence-glorifying demagogues in the noisy rabble. And remember: The situation is being further exacerbated as many media outlets transform their business models from mass broadcast to niche narrowcast—a shift that allows relatively small fringe mobs to sustain the most vituperative voices of hate.

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Add to this a recession that is reducing resources for real journalism, sprinkle in our dehumanizing politics of vilification, and America has built a media economy that incentivizes violent bombast. Indeed, rather than nurturing the talent and intellect necessary to build a following through solid reporting and analysis, the system makes it far more efficient to generate viewers, listeners and Web clicks by simply screaming, “If ballots don’t work, bullets will,” as one Florida radio host recently thundered.

Like many who still cling to journalistic ideals and democratic principles, I’ve grappled with the pressures of this alarming change in the media landscape. As a radio host, I feel the constant pull of the pack mentality—that temptation to follow the path of least ratings resistance and use the public airwaves as a “blowtorch” (as the saying goes in the industry). Oh, how easy that would be—I could just add my voice to the now ubiquitous hatefest that polarizes issues and too often suggests violence is a legitimate form of political expression.

Alas, I’ve done my best to avoid this sadistic melee. I’m sure I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve tried to find an alternative route that circumvents the pitchforks, torches and Glocks. And thankfully, I’ve found support. My Colorado radio station has unabashedly backed my attempt to create a different kind of programming, and I’ve found a diverse and growing listenership that values something more than violent invective.

This is what still gives me hope in such dark times. For if there is an audience in my state that wants something more—something substantive and nonviolent—then there are audiences everywhere that want something more, too. It’s the media’s responsibility to start finding that forgotten majority before more blood is spilled.

David Sirota is the author of the best-selling books “Hostile Takeover” and “The Uprising.” He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado and blogs at OpenLeft.com. E-mail him at ds@davidsirota.com or follow him on Twitter @davidsirota.

© 2011 CREATORS.COM


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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, January 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 19 at 7:18 pm,

Propaganda analysis is useful for all forms of binary emotional rhetoric.

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By SuperMike1661, January 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG

Looks interesting.

In our practice, to achieve VERIFIED “understanding”, we use story boards and narratives on Focus Groups.

This way we have nearly perfect assessment of target audience “response” before shooting a spot or instituting a complete campaign.

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, January 19, 2011 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 19 at 6:40 am,

Groups A, B, and C aren’t propaganda, Group A, B, and C are the targets of propaganda.  Binary Emotional Rhetoric is both the definition and PROCESS of Propaganda.

When people of Group A, B, and C analyze, understand and become aware that an outside source is using binary (only two choice) EMOTIONAL language to bring them to a false conclusion (rhetoric) to control them and that it is no more than binary emotional rhetoric, language used to lead others to a false conclusion, propaganda will lose its control, no matter who is doing it, how powerful they are, or how much they were paid.  People will laugh at it and consider it offensive once they see the scam that it is.  The difficulty is getting people to understand, because understanding involves causality, understanding of the beginning, the end, and all points in between of causation.

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By SuperMike1661, January 19, 2011 at 1:40 am Link to this comment

ThomasG

MMmmm.. I see.

Is this kind of technique an improvement over existing processes for understanding how propaganda functions?  There are Organizations that will pay good money to improve their return on invested dollars in propaganda operations of all kinds.

So if I learn from Focus Grouping that Group A is afraid of BOTH Groups B and C ... is this still binary?

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By ThomasG, January 19, 2011 at 1:17 am Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 18 at 2:11 am

ThomasG’s Analysis:  “they are polluting our culture” is a dichotomy of “them” and “us”, a binary choice, that is framing “them” emotionally as polluting our culture and rhetorically leading to an emotional conclusion that “they” are doing harm to “us”; this is an example of binary emotional rhetoric, propaganda.

ThomasG’s Analysis: “immigrants are destroying American culture” is a dichotomy of “them” and “us”, a binary choice, that is emotionally framing “them”, the immigrants as destroying American culture and emotionally and rhetorically framing “us” by leading to the conclusion that American culture is being destroyed; this is an example of binary emotional rhetoric, propaganda

These are the only two examples where you provided sufficient information for propaganda analysis.

Fear originates from what is unknown, once propaganda is analyzed, it is revealed as rhetoric that is known and as known rhetoric is something to be dealt with as a known factor, rather than to be feared as an unknown. 

.

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By ThomasG, January 19, 2011 at 12:31 am Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 19 at 4:29 am,

Binary emotional rhetoric is the process of propaganda!!!——duh.


If a rock fell from a high place and hit you on the head, would you not know that the rock was a rock and that it fell from a high place and hit you on the head, unless you were told in no uncertain terms that a rock fell from a high place and hit you on the head, or would you be able to make your own determination from established parameters?

From what you are saying, you would not be able to determine for yourself by established parameters that a rock fell from a high place and hit you on the head and the determination of the event could not be determined in any other context than in the operational use of the rock to hit you on the head by those who accomplished the task.  I have a tendency to think that those who accomplished the task are not going to be forthright and it is the same with propaganda.

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By SuperMike1661, January 18, 2011 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA

excellent re the Binary Emotional stuff.

A shabby insult is better than a crisp piece of reasoning ANY DAY.

The quality of our analysis is the ONLY thing that MIGHT save us from the coming subjugation.

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By MarthaA, January 18, 2011 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 19 at 4:20 am,

Your answer is binary emotional rhetoric, quit making a mountain out of a mole hill.  I know it appears to be a mountain, but if you will do some analyzing, it won’t be long until the mole hill is evident.

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By SuperMike1661, January 18, 2011 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG

Very well.

The history of both Open and Covert PsyOps in the United States is well documented. 

Presently, state of the art operations have to do with AstorTurfing. Extremely effective AstroTurf operations where conducted during the early days of the Tea Party.

I work in this field, and I can assure you, once again, that the term “Binary Emotional Rhetoric” is not used Operationally. 

Good Luck.

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By ThomasG, January 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 19 at 1:02 am and SuperMike1661, January 19 at 1:34 am,

Are you saying that surreptitious propaganda is Psy-Ops?

Propaganda whether surreptitious or otherwise is still propaganda, binary emotional rhetoric and can be analyzed as such.

If you are calling surreptitious propaganda Psy-Ops, what you should be calling for is disclosure of those behind surreptitious propaganda, what you are apparently calling Psy-Ops; if this is what you are asking for, this seems a reasonable desire, but if so, being forthright would seem more productive.

You are not being clear, so most likely you don’t know what you are saying, and are trying to work your way through what you are saying as you go.  I can understand why, you would consider the issues complex if you do not know what you are talking about.  Perhaps if you learn more about what you are talking about the issues will be less complex for you.

The result you asked MarthaA for is based upon the definition of propaganda, binary emotional rhetoric, binary being the limitation of choices to two emotional choices that lead to a conclusion to choose one of the two available choices and reject the remaining choice.

I have said this before and you pretend that you do not comprehend.  Perhaps you should use the parameters of propaganda, binary emotional rhetoric, to do your own propaganda analysis, so that you better understand the process.

From what you are saying and the way you are saying it, I suspect that you are a juvenile that has made a discovery of Psy-Ops and are absent the depth of understanding necessary to dialog concerning the propagandistic nature of Psy-Ops manipulation.

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By SuperMike1661, January 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA


I understand you believe that, BUT it does not seem be true.

Can you explain how you arrived at this conclusion?

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By MarthaA, January 18, 2011 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 19 at 1:34 am,

You are correct that’s what you did.

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By SuperMike1661, January 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA,

help me.

you stated that, “Your post says effectively that propagandists use propaganda to define the narrative content of propaganda”

If you have time, let me know how you analyzed for that result.

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By SuperMike1661, January 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA

The issues here are a little complex, but let me ASSURE you that I will stay with it until I have illuminated them. Allow me to rephrase and summarize:

1. In the United States, any Propaganda campaign (promotion, ad campaign, AstroTurf operation, etc.) starts with the funder’s (Client’s) Objective.

2. Within REASON the actual propaganda that is used is not material to the Funder.

3. Therefore, what appears to be Propraganda Content, is actually ANYTHING that gets the job done.

Example: One illuminating PsyOp started in the 90s and was funded by the Health(?) Insurance lobby.  This was the famous Harry and Louise campaign that was primarily based on TV (70%), but also had a large Astroturf operation. 

THE LOBBY DID NOT CARE WHAT HARRY AND LOUISE SAID AS LONG THE STATEMENTS DID NOT DAMAGE ITS REPUTATION. 

AND KILLED AMERICAN HEALTH CARE FORM (The Objective).

One Ad proceeded:  Harry and Louise are sitting at their kitchen table. In the background an ominous voice says “the government may force us to pick from a few health care plans designed by government bureaucrats.” Harry and Louise agree, and say, “Having choices we don’t like is no choice at all. They choose. We lose.”

This messaging was terribly effective because it was based, after huge focus group costs, on real fears of Americans, but the ad content did not FORMALLY ADDRESS THESE FEARS.  It simply EXPANDED them. (this PsyOp cost 40 Mill. USD 2011 dollars, and was done by the VERY BEST “advertising” people in the Unite States at the time.

Push me if you wish more.

Summary: You should now see that the ads themselves did not reveal the true objective of the Lobby. But the ads achieved this objective.

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By ThomasG, January 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 18 at 2:26 am,

MarthaA beat me to the punch on answering your post, but I agree with MarthaA’s analysis of your Psy-Ops argument.

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By MarthaA, January 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 18 at 2:26 am,

Your post says effectively that propagandists use propaganda to define the narrative content of propaganda.

Your point is like a person in an argument over whether or not water is wet, making a counter argument in denial of water being wet, by saying that the content of water is wet in refutation of the proposition that water is wet. 

If you are doing anything more than babbling, what is your point, other than that propagandists use propaganda to define propaganda?

If this is the best argument that can be made for Psy-Ops, I don’t think that Psy-Ops will be much of a problem to anyone, and that even those who cannot get their mind around binary emotional rhetoric as the definition of propaganda will be able to see through a Psy-Ops argument that the content of water is wet to show definitively that water is not wet.

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By Anarcissie, January 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

oddsox—I already disparaged Krugman (January 16 at 6:13 pm).  I am not a Krugman fan.

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By SuperMike1661, January 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

REDHORSE

Correcting me is instructive on several levels.

When I think of “Washington”, I NEVER THINK OF ANYTHING OTHER THAN MONIED INTERESTS. 

Mr. Smith almost NEVER goes to Washington anymore.  Tellingly, as I recall, over 90% of K Street’s huge “tipping” fund, is presently provided by the same corporations that are pouring Direct Foreign Investment into the Peoples Republic of China. The controllers of major Corporations are RAPING their little slut, America, as they wish to MARRY China.

These “American” Corporations have crossed the line. They are primarily interested now in the Military protection that the United States can supply them.  Americans can die for them… or they might survive to come home to live in jobless gutters. (this is a political war on a level with that waged in 1941-45, and Americans will awaken to this soon… to late?)

I can also tell you for certain, you will be unsurprised, that once a Bond Salesman at Goldman tops over 20 Mill. USD per year, he instantly buys a Safe Bungalow in Europe… Switzerland or similar. HE knows the true future meaning of the gun play in Arizona.

There are two people who support me posting as SuperMike1661; however “Mike” does 75% of the writing, and he is 100% responsible for each word.

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By MarthaA, January 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

oddsox, January 18 at 6:00 pm,

oddsox said:  “Nowhere have I described myself as a Republican.  In fact, I’m a registered Democrat, though that’s only so I can participate in my state’s primaries.  In truth, I’m an Independent, and as such, took no personal offense from Sirota’s GOP/psychopath remark.”  Really.

MarthaA’s Answer:  Nor did I describe you as a Republican.

But, since you’ve mentioned it, only a psychopathic odd socks GOP Republican would defend the psychopathic GOP, unless maybe a Conservative Blue Dog Republican Lite type Independent Democrat EXTREMIST odd sock, like toady Joe Lieberman?

So, you admit you are a deceiver, a defender of the GOP that registers as a Democrat just so you can vote out the democratic Democrats.

The Middle Class DLC stasis Conservative Democrats have a toady NEW CLASS problem and are accomplices to corruption through cooperation with the Republicans; but, aren’t nearly as corrupt as the stasis Conservative Republican EXTREMIST instigators of corruption.

Some of the stasis conservatives on the Left would actually have you believe they are fiscal conservatives while they cooperate with the extreme stasis Conservative Republican EXTREMISTS on the Right, which proves they are following the lead of the corrupt Republicans, instead of leading the corrupt Republicans, and have been following all the way down the line, ever since Nixon, as in your PatA fictional dichotomy. 

Again, I did not attack your socks, I merely pointed out the odd socks icon as a psychopathic sign.

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By REDHORSE, January 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

SUPERMIKE1661: I said nothing about “monied interests”. I meant by “Washington”  politicians. (By the way, though I do attend a Sweat Lodge a few times a year, I’m not Native American. One of my favorite horses just happens to be red.)

    Speaking of Native Americans, I’ve come to believe that TAOWALER’s suggestion that active attention to our inter-personal, community relationships and reconnection and revaluation of our natural place as humans is good “medicine”. The Natural World and our Humanity is under intense assault. Heart to Heart, Soul to Soul heals.

      Like yourself, I think the intentional damage done to the American psyche by what you call “psyops” has been overlooked for far to long. I’m enjoying your insights. I’m a little confused as to why you refer to yourself as “we”. Is there more than one of you or at some point will you be asking us to “—rub the lotion on itself—”?

      I enjoy Sirota. As I said below, America is ready for, and needs an “elevated” dialogue. (Sirota is a friend of Matt Taibbi who has a kick ass piece on Boehner in Rolling Stone right now.)

      I enjoy you all—Keep on Rockin’.

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By oddsox, January 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Anacrissie, HA, yes! 
From your vantage point I understand how you’d think Reagan and O’Neill were closer kin ideologically.  Just as Los Angeles and San Francisco seem close when you’re in Boston.
Can we agree, then, they were in opposite camps as described in Paul Krugman’s 1/13 NYT op-ed?
And that their collaborative ability belies Krugman’s assertion that “there is no middle ground.”?

——

et tu, MarthaA:  Nowhere have I described myself as a Republican.  In fact, I’m a registered Democrat, though that’s only so I can participate in my state’s primaries.  In truth, I’m an Independent, and as such, took no personal offense from Sirota’s GOP/psychopath remark.

Maybe I wasn’t clear: my point in bringing it up was as another example of his lack of civility prior to events in Tucson.

In my remark to you, MarthaA, your Tea Party doppelganger, PatA, was fictional, of course.  Again, forgive me if I wasn’t clear.  The intent was to demonstrate that somewhere on the opposite end of the political spectrum is one who is equally reluctant to be civil with you, and for the same reasons. 

..and, if you allow me to self-correct, it’s “ad vestitus,” an attack to the clothing.  No offense taken there either.
Alas, ego sum fossor procul Latin.

My thanks to you for getting the name right:  Odd Sox, as in your dresser drawer.  Not Odds Ox, bovine bookie.

Peace, health and happiness to you
Oddsox out.

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By Anarcissie, January 18, 2011 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

oddsox—I don’t think O’Neill and Reagan were all that far apart ideologically.  Political discourse in that era was more superficially benign because (1) there seemed to be fewer major issues to argue about and (2) the general public was pretty much kept out of the discursive arena; the media were controlled by the same kind of people who populate the government.  Those conditions have changed.

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By MarthaA, January 18, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

oddsox, January 18 at 5:39 am,

No sock attack, just awareness and wondering why someone that identified themself as a GOP psychopathic odd socker would complain when others become aware that the GOP is a bunch of psychopathic odd socks.

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By oddsox, January 18, 2011 at 12:51 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, thanks for explaining.
Guess what’s Left or Sane depends upon one’s point of perspective.
And thanks for your civility.

this will appear in tomorrow’s Washington Post, a good piece. 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/17/AR2011011703299.html

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By oddsox, January 18, 2011 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

MarthaA, an ut vestitus attack?

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By Anarcissie, January 17, 2011 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment

oddsox, January 17 at 7:58 pm:

‘... PS: Anarcissy, I’m not calling out Krugman as a commie/socialist/anarchist.  That’s Loony-Left.  Let’s say Far-Left is anything West of Obama before the 2010 election.  I think we can agree here, yes?’

No; I’m an anarchist, and most people seem to think I’m in full possession of my wits (although I suppose such propositions are always debatable).  Other anarchists who seem to be all too sane include such as Noam Chomsky and Murray Bookchin—well, Bookchin has departed, but he seemed to be pretty sane while he was still around.  As for socialists and communists and so forth, lots of them seem perfectly sane to me, funny as some of their ideas might be.  Of course, I don’t know what your definition of sanity is.  Or ‘Left’, for that matter.

Obama, in my view, has never been a leftist, but he allowed proggies to believe he was sort-of-left-like-them until May of ‘08, when he rudely dumped them off his bandwagon, having finished using them to acquire the nomination.  This did not surprise me, since I am one of those cranks who reads the small print on the side of the box, which in Obama’s case included an article on his web site favoring the invasion of Pakistan (for instance).

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By MarthaA, January 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

oddsox, January 18 at 2:32 am,

The Democratic Party are toadies to the Right; the Right is the American Aristocracy and the Democratic Party represents the Middle Class as a singularity.

The Republican Party and the Democratic Party represent a combined 30% minority population of the American Aristocracy and the American Middle Class that excludes the 70% Majority American Common Population of the American Populace.

Are you advocating a centrist position that involves only the American Aristocracy and the American Middle Class, represented by the Republican Party and the Democratic Party duopoly that excludes 70% of the population of the United States as centrist policy of a duopolistic combination of Left and Right ,that reduces the American Populace to the status of Spartan Helots in the Greek Society of old that American Democracy was patterned upon?

The “Forgotten Majority” is the 70% Majority Population of the American Populace as a class and culture that is not represented as a class and culture by either Republican Party class and cultural advocacy for the American Aristocracy or Democratic Party class and cultural advocacy for the American Middle Class.

The American Populace is truly what is being talked about in the title of this thread, “Finding the Forgotten Majority”, the “Forgotten Majority” is the American Common Population, the American Populace, that is not represented by either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party as a class and culture in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order in the United States.

BTW, David is right about the GOP and you are a good example.  What is the definition of odd socks, one psychopath sock and one toady sock in service to the psychopath sock that feels the need to be civil in service to their own psychopathic agenda of duopoly at the expense of non-psychopathic socks, the 70% majority Common American Populace of socks?  This seems to be typical psychopathic behavior for odd socks.  Is this your context of psychopathic behavior for your odd socks? It is all a bit odd.

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By oddsox, January 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA, you write:
“The GOP has worked from the time of Nixon, through Goldwater, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II at destroying the U.S. Economy and bankrupting the nation with psychopathic behavior of greedy self interest at the expense of the nation.  Do we now have to ignore all of this societal carnage in order to be considered civil?”

now, meet PatT, your doppelganger on Right blogging on http://www.TeaParty.unguv:

“The Democrats have worked from the time of FDR, through LBJ, Carter, Clinton and now Obama at destroying the U.S. Economy and bankrupting the nation with psychopathic behavior of overtaxing producing Americans and mortgaging our children’s futures to pay for their endless giveaways and big government growth.  Do we now have to ignore all of this societal carnage in order to be considered civil?”

To you both, and Sirota, too: Yes. 
Civility counts.
Seek out and engage those with whom you may disagree.
Find common ground.  Tack to the center.
Collaborate, compromise, reach a win-win consensus.

Robert Reich sets a good example, you like him.  George Will and others do on the Right.
It’s not easy, but it’s the only way forward.

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By SuperMike1661, January 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

Note to ThomasG re “subjective” definitions.

Reread SuperMike1661 post, January 18 at 1:20 am

The point of this SuperMike1661 is that the Narrative content is not critical.  ANY assertion of the Communication Program that achieves Client Objective is effective messaging.

It is essential that you understand this point or challenge superMike1661 to further explanation.

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By SuperMike1661, January 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG

Once again I must tell you how real Political Communications work IN THE FIELD. What is DONE by experts:

The terms that you use are not those that practitioners use. For example, one well known PsyOp program that has been ongoing in the United States for nearly a decade is, the “they are polluting our culture” operation.

Now this is a very instructive PsyOp. The operation is based on a large set of focus group research programs that determined that an extremely high Fear Factor with Whites of high voting proclivity was that, “immigrants where destroying American culture”.  This is also known as the Nativist Finding.  Once this FF is fully defined, then Messaging Operations were designed to enhance this fear and CONNECT IT to political candidates who were opponents of funding entities.

This is called “playing to fears” by laymen, but what kind of Narrative Messages actually are MOST EFFICIENT for this operation are very tricky to design… expert message designers work here.

What is most tricky of all IS TO gain statistical accuracy in GEOGRAPHICALLY LOCATING and DEFINING THE INTENSITY OF THIS FEAR FACTOR.  This is totally determinative of Ad Buys ... total program cost is thus fixed BEFORE launch.

I cite this PsyOp because it is the one that eventually opened the door to the finding that Conservative Populists who have been damaged by the recent financial crash are susceptible to this SAME program… i.e The Tea Party was born.

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By ThomasG, January 17, 2011 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 18 at 12:38 am,

Propaganda IS binary emotional rhetoric and can easily be analyzed by the use of three simple words, binary—emotional— and rhetoric.

You have made a claim with regard to “good propaganda” and a question has been put to you in support of that claim with regard to “good propaganda”

It is not, in my estimation, possible to objectively define propaganda, language that limits choice and that leads others to a conclusion of two opposite emotional choices to the exclusion of all other choices as good.

Are you going to dance around in a subjective illusion and avoid dealing with your claim objectively? —Or, are you going to objectively answer the question put to you regarding your claim about good propaganda?

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By ThomasG, January 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

Maani, January 18 at 12:54 am,

Propaganda IS binary emotional rhetoric, language that is used to lead others to a conclusion to choose one of two limited emotional choices.

All propaganda can be analyzed by the use of these three words, binary— emotional —and rhetoric, if all three are present to the exclusion of the diversity of objective definition and choice, the language being used IS propaganda.

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By SuperMike1661, January 17, 2011 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

Maani

Your definitions are not as precise as those used in the field for real political operations.

A usable, if seemingly imprecise definition, is that Positive Propaganda is ANY FORM OF COMMUNICATION that MIGHT assist the entity in achieving its political objectives.  This means that as the PAYING entity’s political goals evolve, so will its propaganda.

This leaves the real definition of importance in the hands of the funding entity. Thus Big Pharma will instruct its PsyOps and Communications professionals that, this year, “we seek, over all other objectives, to block RE-IMPORTS OF OUR PRODUCT INTO THE UNITED STATES”. Now in the following year, as example of little practical import, “we seek to encourage the Canadian government to NOT buy patent knock-offs in India.”

Thus, FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE POLITICAL PROPAGANDIST (CONSULTANT), the actual propaganda narrative is totally derived from the client’s objectives.

This how the process actually works in THE FIELD.

(I have created false and dysfunctional “objectives” to short circuit the definitional task.)

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By Maani, January 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Can we start by defining our terms?

Propaganda:

(Webster): “Ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect.”

(Wiki): “Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda…While the term propaganda has acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most manipulative and jingoistic examples, propaganda in its original sense was neutral, and could refer to uses that were generally benign or innocuous, such as public health recommendations, signs encouraging citizens to participate in a census or election, or messages encouraging persons to report crimes to the police, among others.”

So…???

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By SuperMike1661, January 17, 2011 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG

Political Investors who actually create propaganda in the United States do not care from year to year what IDEAS are actually transmitted.


The ONLY thing that these investors concern themselves with is typically a 1000 to 1 payback over the near term on dollars invested.

Example: The Pharmaceutical Industry of the United states strongly supported the “health care” bill last year because it calculated an easy 10,000 to 1 return on its investment in K Street arm twisting.  These huge Corporate entities would be just as happy to see you dead if they could make a better profit.

Leave the Philosophical Politics at the door. Watch how the CONTROLLERS do their work. Real politics is played to the death.

Just as Big Pharma sold out the Right Wing in the “health care” bill, so will ALL the Corporations continue to sell out the United States as they invest in EXPANDING MARKETS ABROAD.

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By ThomasG, January 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 17 at 9:02 pm,

The definition of good is then, good for us, maybe not you! —right? 

In other words, the use of propaganda to define good propaganda.

The concept is definitely worthy of a good propagandists, even though it does not bear any resemblance at all to objective definition in reality.

Are you in favor of subjectively defining propaganda with subjective propaganda in order to be able to declare propaganda as good? —or, are you just making the observation that this process is being used to subjectively define propaganda as good?

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By MarthaA, January 17, 2011 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

oddsox, January 17 at 10:45 pm,

oddsox said:  “But civil?  Not so much. He interrupts (don’t they all?) and has called out the GOP as “psychopaths.” — oddsox, January 17 at 10:45 pm, Truthdig Forum ‘Finding the Forgotten Majority’.

MarthaA’s Answer:  Since the GOP really are psychopaths, what is the problem with acknowledging that fact? 

Do you think it politically incorrect to call a psychopath a psychopath?  And, if so, why?

The GOP has worked from the time of Nixon, through Goldwater, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II at destroying the U.S. Economy and bankrupting the nation with psychopathic behavior of greedy self interest at the expense of the nation.  Do we now have to ignore all of this societal carnage in order to be considered civil?

Give me a break.  Are we now concerned about alienating the psychopath contingency?

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By oddsox, January 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

DavidByron, back to Sirota (this IS his thread after all)
I haven’t listened to his radio show.  But I’ve read his columns steadily and watched him as a guest on various cable shows.  We’ve also exchanged emails.  He’s quick, young, handsome, educated and articulate. 
And he lives in a beautiful city, too—I’ve been to Denver, it’s a lovely mix of the historic old West and up-to-the minute culture, all with clean mountain air.  A great place to live, I’ll bet.

But civil?  Not so much. He interrupts (don’t they all?), is provocative and has called out the GOP as “psychopaths.”  And you’ve read his column on 11/19 and the reactions it provoked.

So this high road he’s claiming to be taking now, this “alternative route that circumvents the pitchforks, torches and Glocks,” that’s new territory for him.

I’m not buying it, are you?
I put more credence in those whose civility predates two Saturdays ago in Tuscon.

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By SuperMike1661, January 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG asks, “can anyone provide some objective examples of good propaganda”?

Yes.  The most common example of “good” propaganda is when it is effective for the purposes of your entity.  This is the domain of Political Psychological Operations. It is used extensively in American politics starting in the early 1980s.  Poly Psyops is almost totally covert. Some background:

The weapons of Poly PsyOps were developed during the cold war, and were long-ago turned on the American people by the most sophisticated PsyOp professionals in the world. (British experts first developed rudimentary PsyOps in dividing and manipulating demographically differentiated populations during the development of their Empire, and they perfected basic techniques during WWII while training Americans)

Do a search on Frank Luntz’s company theworddoctors.com to get a quick look at the profile of a moderately TOP LEVEL player in this field.  Luntz is useful to Right Wing PsyOps users because his personality is videogenic.  Yet he IS NOT a fully top of the line supplier. Such consultants run in stealth mode but are not impossible to locate.  Luntz gives the FACE of American PsyOps a friendly veneer… it is ACCEPTABLE.

Note: The American Right Wing includes substantial numbers of PsyOp professionals because of its deep bond with the US military and Intelligence communities. Very substantial sums are spent training and experiencing PsyOp experts inside the DIA and CIA. These two agencies are the primary breeding ground for Domain Experts who operate a level or two above Luntz.  The American Left is far behind.

The REALITY is that these latest murders in Tuscon are simple blow back from PsyOps run by the American Right targeting Conservative Populists.  The destabilized murderer is as much a victim as are the corpses that he left behind.

Corporate Power is not particularly interested in the details of Right Wing PsyOps, as LONG AS THEY DO NOT INTERFERE WITH ITS PROFIT HARVEST IN THE UNITED STATES.

See typical DOD PsyOp (non-stealth) here:

http://www.usacapoc.army.mil/facts-psyop.html

If you do not understand PsyOps, you will NEVER begin to fathom the multilevel structure of Power in the West, and you are hopelessly lost about the top Corporate Level because it is invisible without this knowledge.

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By oddsox, January 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

(continued from below)
This brings us to SuperMike1661 and his call for action vs. the Corporate Menace.

Elsewhere and often, I’ve called for the breakup of the “Too-Big-To-Fails” (”=Too-Big-To-Begin-With”)

It’s encouraging to see a concurring view from Reich in Aftershock (pg 106).

The breakups are not meant to be punitive, but to increase competition.
If they were allowed only to operate within a given state + DC, banks would be smaller, but there’d be many more of them, each one expendable.
They’d likely be more savvy about the loan-worthiness of local real estate, too. 
And we’d likely see a little job growth as a happy by-product.
CEO pay?  Let the stockholders pay their execs as much as they dare, but no more bailouts.
I confess, I may be all wet on the how-to portion of breaking up the gigi-banks.  I’ll defer to sharper minds like Reich’s on the nuts-and-bolts of all this.
(any banking experts or anti-trust attorneys want to weigh in here?)

But it’s all been done before (AT&T in ‘85—during the Reagan years, no less. And over 100 anti-trust suits vs. Oil, Railroad, Beef, Steel and other Trusts during the first two decades of the 20th century). And we’re the better for it, in my view.

PS: Anarcissy, I’m not calling out Krugman as a commie/socialist/anarchist.  That’s Loony-Left.  Let’s say Far-Left is anything West of Obama before the 2010 election.  I think we can agree here, yes?

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By ThomasG, January 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

The claim of existence of good propaganda and bad propaganda has been made by Fat Freddy.

How is it that limiting choices by way of propaganda can be construed as good propaganda, and can anyone provide some objective examples of good propaganda?

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By Anarcissie, January 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

oddsox, January 17 at 5:34 pm:

‘... More to the point, my readings of Krugman show him to be in lockstep with Far Left ideals. ...’

I’ve never seen anything by Krugman which would put him in the anarchist, socialist or Communist category, so I’m mystified as to what your Far-Left readings might be.  To me, he seems to be a standard-issue Welfare-state liberal.

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By DavidByron, January 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Can someone—anyone—tell me where to find a voice on the left doing this?  Anything at all?

“As a radio host, I feel the constant pull of the pack mentality—that temptation to follow the path of least ratings resistance and use the public airwaves as a “blowtorch” (as the saying goes in the industry). Oh, how easy that would be—I could just add my voice to the now ubiquitous hatefest that polarizes issues and too often suggests violence is a legitimate form of political expression.”

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By Maani, January 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy:

“Personally, I’m sick of all these “White-Shoe”, Ivy League Boys (and gals) that sit up in their Ivory Towers, and never had to face the real world.”

From Lawrence Britt’s “14 Characteristics of Fascism”:

#11: Disdain for Intellectuals

(And isn’t that what Palin, Beck et al are all about, if nothing else?)

“He did some decent work on ‘comparative advantage,’ but that was a long time ago, and hasn’t really done much since of significant importance…”

You mean, other than correctly predicting the economic collapse, along with only a couple of other economists (Roubini, Stiglitz)?  Nice try.

Re this discussion, Frank Rich takes a somewhat less provocative, and in my opinion correct, approach:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/opinion/16rich.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=print

Peace.

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By oddsox, January 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA, you like Paul Krugman & Robert Reich, and that’s fine.  I see huge differences between them, though.

Both hold high credentials in economics, both are partisan left of center.
But to me, Krugman seems always so dark and dour, fearful of the future; while Reich is more of a “Fezziwig” type, highly humorous at times. Take a look here, Reich touting his latest book, Aftershock.
http://robertreich.org/post/1456447090
The book was on my Christmas want list & was a quick and easy read—highly recommended.

More to the point, my readings of Krugman show him to be in lockstep with Far Left ideals.  That loses credibility with me, whether it’s from the Left or Right.  I don’t know if Krugman’s a shill of the Democratic Party, but when Fat Freddie calls him one, it’s easy to see from where the slight arises and no rebuttal springs to mind. 

Not so with Reich.  Make no mistake, he’s a loyal Democrat and his writings at times hold clearly partisan objectives.  But Reich is not afraid to cross over to the center and search out solutions that make sense.  And, if challenged, it would be easy provide examples to counter any notion that he’s a shill for ... well, anyone except his publisher.

(continued, please read next)

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By SuperMike1661, January 17, 2011 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

The OTHER 9 Year-old murdered by Right Wing discontent in Arizona

Christina Taylor Green was not the first 9 year-old recently murdered in Arizona.  The fact the you do not know this points directly to ongoing and sophisticated censorship by American Corporate Media.  The Managers of Corporate Media feel that they must “protect” the stability of the American polity; so they have erected their own Great Wall of China around your mind.

On 30 May 2009, Brisenia Flores, 9, and her father Raul, 29, of Arivaca, Arizona, were murdered by a Right Wing hit team of the splinter group, Minutemen American Defense.  Jury selection begins this week in the capital murder trial of the Minutemen, including a national director of the group.  Nine year old Brisenia, pleaded for her life, but was shot to death anyway.  Brisenia’s mother was able to fend off her attackers. 

The SuperMike1661 Right Wing Murder List is about to be re-posted.  Version 1.2 will contain this profoundly disturbing hit.

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By SuperMike1661, January 16, 2011 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

A reader’s email has informed us of errors in our recent post that commented on REDHORSE.

1. Mr. Zuckerman’s wealth is 2,400 Million USD not 400 million as we stated (we bow to Forbes analysis of American wealth)

2. Mr. Murdoch does not have a concubine as does Mr. Zuckerman.  Murdoch’s attractive young WIFE has presented him with two baby girls.

Please accept SuperMike1661’s apologies. Working on Sunday is a very bad idea.

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By SuperMike1661, January 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

REDHOURSE speaks truth but needs to hone his analytical knife:

He says that monied interests are “consolidating Corporate, some say Fascist Oligarchal power (sic)”.

Here we have to understand the Hierarchical Structure of Power in the West (and Japan).  It is incorrect to think that Oligarchical Power might be another NAME for Corporate power. Today, in the West and Russia, Oligarchs DEPLOY Corporations to do there bidding in The Open. And since it is part of the Corporate Monolith, CORPORATE Media openly worships these corporations. (the term “MSM” also lacks sharpness and confuses the public mind. MSM is 99% owned by large Corporate interests… with rare exception. This misrepresentation is particularly confusing to the would-be UNDERSTANDER of Political Economy.)

Unlike Corporations, Oligarchs THEMSELVES travel in Stealth Mode.

Oligarchs rarely appear in the open, and when they do, they are never accurately identified, i.e. Corporate Media is aggressively effective in protecting the true identity of its owners.

A typical example is Mortimer Zuckerman, a huge real estate speculator in NYC who appears regularly on MSNBC, the McLaughlin Report and many other places. Zuckerman NEVER allows himself to be identified as a Real Estate mogul who nets out north of $400 Million. Mr. Zuckerman will only appear if you label him as the Publisher of US News and World Report… the tiny magazine that he owns.

Zuckerman is a typically salacious Oligarch in his mid 70s who has a very young girlfriend who just honored him with child.  Mort’s concubine is MUCH younger than even Rupert Murdoch’s.

SUMMARY: Corporations are simply BLINDS behind which Saudi Princelings and hugely wealthy families hide.  Corporations are legal robots who openly act on behalf of real power.

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By RayLan, January 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

FatFreddy
“That Krugman article is crap, as is most of Krugman’s work. He is a political shill for the Democratic Party. His Straw Man arguments are colossal failures.

Krugman—-> FAIL”
This is an argument?

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By REDHORSE, January 16, 2011 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Americans are legitimately pissed. The core rage at the open lie Washington represents is justified. The MSM denial of access to factual dialogue based on human reason is crazy making. American media lies by omission. The electoral process itself denies open debate. Political candidates denied access to debate are arrested for even showing up as spectators. As I’ve said elsewhere, the Rovian Right supported by the MSM has so violated actual American human/social/political morality Truth has become Treason. Anti-Democratic action taken by Washington over the last decade to deny sane National Social and Financial reform at the expense of American lives and futures while consolidating Corporate, some say Fascist Oligarchal power, continues. Corrupt Senators hold the entire Legislative Process hostage, stop the Peoples Business at will, and we’re not even allowed to know their names. The Wars bankrupting the Country were started by means of a lie and a complicet MSM. Yes, lets be reasonable. We’ve nothing to fear.

    Again, the Rovian Bushite Right and the inhabitants of its false moral highground in order to maintain the open lie they represent have resurrected and explotied the worst aspects of American ignorance, fear, prejudice, hate and superstition to silence legitimate dialogue. They are as insane and openly violent as the Tucson shooter. They’ve given us rendition, kidnapping, torture, suspended human rights and perpetual war.

    If Mr. Sirota and other concerned journalists want an “elevated” dialogue we’re ready. Perhaps exposure of backroom D.C. deals, closed committee highjinks, reports on for profit Bill manipulations by thugs like Tosin and the laws that allow revolving door fixers to subvert the National interest would help.. The Supreme Court laid the resonsibility on Congress for new Campaign Finance Reform. Where is it?

      Thank the Koch Brothers, Corporate Capital and Murdoch for the ignorant violent armed dangerous loons who “shout down” Town Hall meetings and exploit hate and fear. And thank the MSM for the daily dose of Palin and crazy making “spin” that distorts and manipulates the American psyche.

      The intentional violent corrupt maipulation of the American Political process by avaricious greed and intentional silencing of human reason in American discourse isn’t in our heads. It’s real and the rage we feel is legitimate. It’s time for those journalist still standing to put their lives and careers on the line. Ours are.

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By MarthaA, January 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, January 16 at 9:08 pm,

That’s your opinion, but I have found more truth in what Paul Krugman and Robert Reich say than nearly anyone else.

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By MarthaA, January 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, January 16 at 5:37 pm and Fat Freddy, January 16 at 5:27 pm,

Yes, even you, Fat Freddy, can distinguish the difference between propaganda and free speech if the mental activity doesn’t blow up your fuzzy little brain.

Propaganda is binary EMOTIONAL rhetoric.  If you do not understand the terms binary—emotional—and rhetoric, let me know, and I will explain them to you.

You are correct, weapons can be used for constructive purpose, that is a fact, but I have never heard of the weapon of propaganda used constructively.

What is the context that you claim binary emotional rhetoric can be used in that is constructive without destructive purpose, rather than destructive without constructive purpose, as is propaganda I am familiar with?

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By SuperMike1661, January 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

KRUGMAN WRONG: not for traditional reasons

Krugman is wrong because he can not see past his limited political education.  He is wrong because, in correctly stating that Americans are traditionally polarized around the two complimentary issues of 1) self-interest and 2) social-integrity, he MISSES THE OVERARCHING, ever-growing political power that is slowly robbing us of our nationhood.

Corporate Power, increasingly magnified by huge sovereign wealth funds, does not care what the people think about the people’s politics… as long as the people do not threaten the ever-upward and numbingly rapid accumulation of Corporate Power.

Example: If a congressperson wanted to experience a short political life, he would have simply posed a REAL threat to the new health care bill passed last year.  If such a congressperson could have actually threatened this huge corporate kickback, they would have felt the united wrath of K Street and Wall Street… DOLLAR power.

So is it that the people are handed the most costly, limited-use medical system in the history of the world.  As America continues to fall from the blue sky, do NOT expect 20 million dollar per year Bond Salesman to fall with it.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA

...but I have found him to be fair and balanced in his statements and knowledge of the facts to the point that I value his opinion and read and/or listen to whatever he has to say.

Personally, I’m sick of all these “White-Shoe”, Ivy League Boys (and gals) that sit up in their Ivory Towers, and never had to face the real world.

He did some decent work on “comparative advantage”, but that was a long time ago, and hasn’t really done much since of significant importance then except wave the Democratic Party flag.

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By MarthaA, January 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

The forgotten majority population is just that, the forgotten majority, unless the majority population gets their act together and unites as a class and culture and demands representation in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order so that they will not continue to be the forgotten majority population.  It definitely is time to find the forgotten majority.

BTW, For all those who think Paul Krugman is wrong, only time will tell, but I have found him to be fair and balanced in his statements and knowledge of the facts to the point that I value his opinion and read and/or listen to whatever he has to say.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Just because a comment is directed towards somebody, doesn’t mean you can’t read it. There’s no expectation of privacy, here. I’m not going to post the same response to two different people.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

RayLan

Yes, I did. Go back through the comments. You must have missed it.

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By Anarcissie, January 16, 2011 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 16 at 4:03 pm:

‘Fat Freddy

If Krugman is wrong, post a piece that EXPLAINS WHY HE IS WRONG. ...’

Krugman is wrong empirically: there are a lot of political positions about the Welfare state, ranging from enthusiasm to distaste, suspicion and hostility.  There are actually not very many people who oppose governmental Welfare functions in their entirety, even among the fans of Palin, Beck and Limbaugh.  Moreover, their positions on these issues are connected with many others (often in a complex and even contradictory manner) which Krugman completely omits from his view.  It’s a very poor performance on his part; describing him as a shill for the Democratic Party does not seem far from the mark in this case.

Krugman’s more fundamental thought is that the discussions about the goodness of the Welfare state, however conflicted, should proceed nonviolently.  However, since the fundamental principles of government are violent (in the sense of physically coercive) and since it makes totalitarian claims, it is hard to see how the conflicts can be kept from edging off into violent confrontations about this issue as well as all the others Krugman fails to mention.

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By Anarcissie, January 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 16 at 4:03 pm:

‘Fat Freddy

If Krugman is wrong, post a piece that EXPLAINS WHY HE IS WRONG. ...’

Krugman is wrong empirically: there are a lot of political positions about the Welfare state, ranging from enthusiasm to distaste, suspicion and hostility.  There are actually not very many people who oppose governmental Welfare functions in their entirety, even among the fans of Palin, Beck and Limbaugh.  Moreover, their positions on these issues are connected with many others (often in a complex and even contradictory manner) which Krugman completely omits from his view.  It’s a very poor performance on his part; describing him as a shill for the Democratic Party does not seem far from the mark in this case.

Krugman’s more fundamental thought is that the discussions about the goodness of the Welfare state, however conflicted, should proceed nonviolently.  However, since the fundamental principle of government is violence (in the sense of physically coercion) and since it makes totalitarian claims, it is hard to see how the conflicts can be kept from edging off into violent confrontations about this issue as well as all the others Krugman fails to mention.

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By RayLan, January 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

FatFreddy
“Wrong. The substance of my argument, is he used a Straw Man. That is not predicated on him being a Democrat. “
If that is your argument it is confused on fails since you don’t even try to show how it is a Straw Man.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

correction

<i>That’s not a very effective means of trying to argue [against] a false dichotomy.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

RayLan

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Krugman was simply trying to point out the “false dichotomy” presented by the media. If that’s the case, he did a lousy job of it. He attempted to vilify one side, and praise the side. That’s not a very effective means of trying to argue a false dichotomy.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

RayLan

It is the only substance of your argument and therefore fallacious.

Wrong. The substance of my argument, is he used a Straw Man. That is not predicated on him being a Democrat.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA

What you fail to recognize, is that there are many types of propaganda. There’s both negative, and positive, depending on your point of view. Propaganda is simply a means of influencing people in a community. You are the one that gives it a negative connotation, and can somehow magically distinguish between good and bad propaganda. Do you own a crystal ball? Are you psychic?

It is when the opposing points of view are silenced, that problems arise. You seem to want to silence a certain point of view, based on your “morality”. You have every right to express your point of view, and try to influence others. It when you try to silence others, that you have crossed a line.

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By RayLan, January 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy
“No, it is not. ad hominem is not always a logical fallacy”
It is the only substance of your argument and therefore fallacious.
Saying Krugman is a Democrat shill proves nothing anymore than claiming you are Republican shill.
You don’t analyze his statements at all other than to claim it they use Straw Man. Again proving nothing.
The hidden premise would have to be that Democracts are wrong by defintion which is self-serving.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

Military Propaganda is a brain warping tool against the enemy, and should NEVER be used on the population of a nation that is not the enemy.

So, you can differentiate between propaganda and free speech? I know what propaganda is, it is you that does not know what free speech is.

Tell me, how do you intend to prevent “propaganda”, as you define it? Censorship? Punishment?

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By RayLan, January 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike
“What we have in this half-cocked assertion is simply another way to push your mind off the track of seeing who is controlling and who is controlled. “
I am not controlled by what I understand and can see through. I know the media is suspect and self-motivated. I know the political system is hi-jacked by corporate interests. The Truth will set us free. Real change comes from the ground up. A collection of individuals united simply by a righteous cause. In a culture that entertains itself with the mindless circuses of reality tv and sports spectacles, the fact that corrupt business and media can thrive on producing such crap that sabotages critical thought cannot just be blamed on a system that victimizes a mass of innocent victims.

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By MarthaA, January 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

Fat Freddy, January 16 at 2:48 pm,

Military Propaganda is a brain warping tool against the enemy, and should NEVER be used on the population of a nation that is not the enemy.  Propaganda in no way is free speech, for you to think that means you have no idea what the purpose of propaganda is.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Logically this just doesn’t come together and commits a common fallacy - ad hominem.

No, it is not. ad hominem is not always a logical fallacy. In this case, I was merely pointing out his disposition, one which he admits to.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

SuperMike1661

Non-rational assertions? Krugman is the one being irrational and illogical. Any time you lump all people, into just two groups of ideologies, you are creating a Straw Man of colossal proportions on BOTH sides, which is the premise of his entire article, which makes his conclusions a “logical fallacy”.

Example:
“I earned it and I have the right to keep it” crowd.

I am against all forms of coercive taxation, but I, and many like me, believe that we are better suited to make the decisions about where our money should go, not the government. It’s not that we want to “keep” our money, we want the choice of where it should go. Because the government can not help themselves, and they raid tax revenues for their personal goals, much like the Mafia raided the Teamster’s Pension Fund.

Anyway, that is a clear misrepresentation of position, and a Straw Man argument on a smaller scale then his initial assertions.

Regular readers know which side of that divide I’m on.

He admits that he is not being objective, and is no better than Limbaugh, Hannity, Olberman, etc. He suggests that because he doesn’t use “violent rhetoric” that we are supposed to respect his opinions more? The fact is, people have a right to express their feelings, and violent metaphors are a natural way of doing that…but that’s all they are; metaphors, and anybody of, at least, reasonable intelligence knows the difference. It’s not much different than saying “the violent video games”, or “rock-and-roll lyrics” made him do it.

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By SuperMike1661, January 16, 2011 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Fat Freddy

If Krugman is wrong, post a piece that EXPLAINS WHY HE IS WRONG. The readers here are too sophisticated to dismiss him outright because you put him in a Class of “democrats”.

Or explain WHY his argument is in the Straw Man class. 

The reason that the people can not understand why their country is being rapidly taken away from them is because the political landscape is strewn with non-rational assertions like yours.

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By SuperMike1661, January 16, 2011 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

RayLan says, “individuals still have choice and don’t have to succomb (sic)”.

What we have in this half-cocked assertion is simply another way to push your mind off the track of seeing who is controlling and who is controlled. IN FACT individuals DO NOT have a choice when the political theater that, staged and clacked by elites with unending funds, ONLY OFFERS THE PEOPLE LITTLE, GRUBBY, SELF-INTERESTED POLITICS.

RayLan and others WILL NOT BE on the van guard of ACTION ORIENTED politics because the political front is moving too incredibly fast. Saudi Princlings and GE-Goldman have nearly completed their seizure of ALL the useful mass media instrumentalities. They have left us, dangerously they rightfully estimate, THIS TINY BLOGGING PLACE to unite.

RayLan would rather that we did not.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

This Zero-Sum-Gain Game mentality is the true enemy here.

FTFY

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By SuperMike1661, January 16, 2011 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Oddsox believes that there is a “common-sense middle ground” that holds potential for future political action.  This may be so, but this observation is just another way to avoid taking a stand NOW.

It DOES NOT MATTER where you stand in the political spectrum.  What matters with the existing political siege under which the people find themselves is to unite in a common push BACK.

There are far too many passive voices among the people. While against the people, reigns an ever active K Street, indefatigable Madison Avenue and job sucking Wall Street.

These Streets of Corporate whores WANT us to think that petty matters of political self-interest are THE most important issues.  Why? Because even now, with their hugely amassing power, they fear that the People will unite against them.

What does it matter if you espouse to Bear Arms and I espouse health care for American children, when THEY control the political, economic and existential playing fields?

Oddsox can focus on where he and you stand, but THEY will push him into the political gutter when they have finalized their control. 

What is at issue in the face of rapidly ascending political Corporate power is where we are going… NOT WHERE WE ARE.

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By RayLan, January 16, 2011 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Fat Freddy
The Straw Man Argument fallacy?
Krugman is wrong, engages in Straw Man Arguments because he is a Democrat or blindly serves the Democrats.
The Democrats must always be wrong therefore because… let’s see.. because they are Democrats?

Logically this just doesn’t come together and commits a common fallacy - ad hominem.

Krugman is not wrong because he is a Democrat - but because his statements are false or incoherent anymore than Fat Freddy is right because his is not a Democrat.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

markpkessinger

That Krugman article is crap, as is most of Krugman’s work. He is a political shill for the Democratic Party. His Straw Man arguments are colossal failures.

Krugman—-> FAIL

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By RayLan, January 16, 2011 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

The majority put the Reps into the House. They are hardly lost. The vitriol is commonplace on all sorts of teleommunication forums on every sort of topic. The responsibility is certainly with the corporate-controlled media, but individuals still have choice and don’t have to succomb.

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By oddsox, January 16, 2011 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

markpkessinger, to his credit, Krugman returns to a basic Truth at the end of his column:
“The road to (reconciliation) begins with an agreement that our differences will be settled by the rule of law.”

The bulk of Kruger’s op-ed, however, rests upon a false premise:
“There’s no middle ground between these views.”

This false dichotomy is echoed by both ends of the political spectrum.
It’s what the Far Left and Far Right have in common, a belief that their side can only advance at the expense of the other. 
This is why casting ones lot with either is dangerous and frustratingly unproductive.
Frustration turns to anger, and sometimes, anger to violence.

This Zero-Sum-Gain mentality is the true enemy here.  Op-ed writers, pundits and commentators from the fringes routinely exploit it to serve their own ends.
But the common-sense middle ground is precisely where the people are, just waiting for our leaders to find them.

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By Fat Freddy, January 16, 2011 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

MarthaA

Militaristic Propaganda isn’t free speech,

Of course it is. Speech is non-coercive. I don’t “fear” speech, I invite it. In the words of Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas:

A function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea.

[...]

That is why freedom of speech, though not absolute, is nevertheless protected against censorship or punishment, unless shown likely to cause a clear and present danger of a serious substantive evil that rises far above public inconvienience, annoyance or unrest…

There is no room under our Constitution for a more restrictive view. For the alternayive would lead to standardization of ideas either by Legislatures, courts, or domonate political or community groups.

(my emphasis)

- Terminiello v. Chicago (1949)

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By SuperMike1661, January 16, 2011 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

markpkessinger

Your post highlights the Emergency Conditions under which Western free people are now allowed to live. And your fingering of “the media” is precise if uncomprehensive.

History has never seen such huge, consolidated, cross-boarder media monsters, and they are not through yet.  Each month the claw of Corporate control tightens. Note the most recent unification in America of Comcast with the NBC Universal Empire where, unlike old owner GE, we now have a stupefying corporate behemoth that integrates production with distribution… and NO STRONG VOICES OF RESISTANCE ARE HEARD!

The only logical conclusion of your post is that Corporate control of media possesses an Ultra-Orwellian SUPPRESSIVE ACTUALITY (not a theoretical threat) of rapidly INCREASING size to the freedom of Western peoples.  The ACTUALITY is massive because The Globalization Process continues.  These Corporate Robots, owned by a numerically shrinking ruling-class, are NEVER, NEVER satiated.

YET OUR PEOPLE, FROM THE RIGHT AND LEFT, DO NOT ACT!

Why is that?!

Peoples of the Right and Left must quickly organize and create POWERFUL political strikes on the Corporate Monsters that Control.  In Finance, Media, Medicine and Technology the initial target of Resistance MUST be the Corporate tools that are used to manipulate us. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!

Even after we have, hopefully, pushed back their Corporate Robots, we will have to take on the Robot’s Owners Themselves. And they control, and WILL USE AGAINST US, their Security State Apparatus. (there are already a plethora of paid bloggers who are here to STRANGLE-IN-THE-CRIB ANY nascent anti-corporate political movement.)

The people, in their blogging sleep, are in grave peril.  They MUST awaken because the Technology of Control now available to the Robot’s Owners will take us into hundreds of years of bleak, probably PERMANENT, subjugation. Are the people ready to RISK THAT?

markpkessinger, help more now, in our emergency task of activating the people’s will TO ACT.

Will anyone stop typing and STAND UP?

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By markpkessinger, January 16, 2011 at 3:37 am Link to this comment

Much as I might envy, and would like to be able to share in, Mr. Sirota’s optimistic assessment of the media’s ability to alter the tone of political discourse in this country, I think the reality of what divides us is best described in Paul Krugman’s New York Times Op-Ed published on January 13, 2011 (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/opinion/14krugman.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss).  Mr. Krugman points out that there are fundamentally two, diametrically opposed moralities:  one that believes in the legitimacy of the welfare state as an agent of social and economic justice, and one that believes each individual is wholly autonomous and independent from his/her wider community, entitled to keep every dollar they are able to command in the marketplace and bearing no responsibility to the less fortunate or even to the wider society as a whole.

The first of these moralities became the predominant one starting with FDR’s New Deal.  This view became further solidified—among Republicans and Democrats alike—as the country saw the rise of a new middle class in the WWII and post-war decades.  Republican Presidents (Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford) each accepted the fundamental legitimacy of the welfare state, even if they might have disagreed with their Democratic counterparts as to the specifics of its implementation. 

Then along came Ronald Reagan, whose cheerful, sunny disposition belied a cynical campaign strategy designed to exploit resentments of the business classes towards the laboring classes, and those of the laboring classes towards the poor.  From his decision to launch his Presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi with a speech peppered with references to “states’ rights” (and later feigning ignorance about the real import of his words in the context in which they were spoken), to his invidious invocation of the “Welfare Queen,” who never existed except in the minds of those who secretly harbored the belief that the poor are poor because “they want to be.”  From that campaign onwards, the GOP has sought to undermine public perception of the validity of progressive taxation, of reasonable regulation of industry in service to the public interest, and or the notion that the federal government has any legitimate role to play in alleviating human suffering.

The GOP narrative hypes the myth that each individual can be everything or anything he or she desires to be with sufficient thrift, commitment and industry; the same narrative thereby renders easily accessible to moral judgment those who have not been so successful on the basis that those individuals must be lacking in one or more of the necessary character traits the myth claims are necessary and sufficient to make the world one’s oyster.

And so the cycle feeds itself.  Focus on supposed moral failings of one’s economic inferiors, using those alleged moral failings as a basis to call into question the legitimacy of offering any kind of government aid programs that might give folks a fighting chance at elevating their own socio-economic class, and thus, increasingly eliminating such aid programs and thereby assuring people will, for the most part, remain entrenched exactly where they are.

So to suggest that the media can significantly help matters merely by changing the tone of debate is, I believe, naively hopeful.  In order to recapture the civility of an earlier time, we would first have to undo 30+ years of indoctrination in right-wing economic precepts.  That would involve the media being willing to call out many of that ideology’s fraudulent presumptions—something that is totally, utterly inconceivable in this day of corporate-owned news media.

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By oddsox, January 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

Bethany, no worries, no offense taken.
That’s the point: people of different cultures and leanings getting together find common ground.
Forming a consensus, collaborating, compromising when needed. 
The result: win-win solutions & moving forward.

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By SuperMike1661, January 15, 2011 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA

With your excellent post, you are at, or close to, the final insight:

Those who wish to appose the enslaving forces of Concentrated Wealth, should focus their attention on the Corporate Robots who do the WORK of Saudi Princes and their friends at GE-Goldman.

We need to rapidly shut down the Corporate power that continues its unrelenting killing of American jobs by its unrelenting investment in China… the Beast of Asia.

Join the AntiCorp, save your grandchildren!

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By MarthaA, January 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

CitizenWhy, January 15 at 4:24 am,

In the city, unless a parent takes their teenager to the country to hunt game or to a special target range for target practice, I can’t see any reason for a teenager to use a gun, much less own a gun, but these are calls that have to be done by the parents based upon the intellect and personality of the child.

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By zzonerr, January 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

What ever happened to investigative journalism?  The lack of curiosity by so many of those in the profession is remarkable. Why pay a television talking head when you can train a parrot to say “one lone gunman?”

Questions:  Who says marijuana use is inconsistent with right wing ideology? Is the Minuteman Project a front for white supremacist extremists in southern Arizona.  http://www.minutemanproject.com/  Do they grow marijuana to fund their activities?  If they do, who buys from them?  Who deals for them?  How much money is involved? Who are their debtors? What other criminal activity goes on? Wasn’t part of the USA Patriot Act created to make financial transactions involving money laundering more transparent?  Is everything kept in cash?

This isn’t a job for an Anderson Cooper to go 4 wheeling across the desert in Prada. Who then? The FBI?  Would their findings ever be made public?  Why do we even have a press in the first place? 

How interesting that one of the people who may have some insight into some of these questions is being told to shut up! (See link above.)  Real life is much more interesting than the reality portrayed in the media. 

There’s a very dark cloud hanging over this sunny state and I don’t think it’s going to be lifting anytime soon.

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By MarthaA, January 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

SuperMike1661, January 15 at 6:30 pm,

If one doesn’t have a set liberal base in their mind, and keep listening to the conservative propaganda and sophistry of the Fox News Network and all the various Right-Wing conservative newspapers, conservative media networks and conservative programs on radio, television and in the churches, they will get pulled into the conservative “kill them, kill them all” snare, as did Jerry Falwell, Sarah Palin, Pat Robertson, Kenneth Copeland and many others..

The reason the Right is allowed to agitate to the extent they are where that they can enable so much murder is because the American Common Populace as a class and culture is not represented in Congress.  The American Common Populace, which includes all of the Middle Classes, had a parting of the ways in representation around 1980, when the Republican led Democratic Leadership Council, DLC, was formed and the academic upper crust of the American Common Populace split off and separated from the majority to quietly represent themselves as the American Middle Class forming a NEW CLASS and CULTURE, the American Middle Class, a Left-Wing academic elite class and culture in cooperation and competition with the American Aristocracy, the Republican monied elite capitalist class and culture, leaving the rest of the American Common Populace without representation as single individuals in a state of chaos.

Before the split, the Democratic National Committee was named the Democratic Farmer and Labor Party, but after the split, it no longer represents anything but academics.  Now it is only the Democratic National Committee, it isn’t really named the Democratic Party,  their membership card only reflects the Democratic National Committee.

So, they are representing themselves separately, and the only way for the 216 million strong majority common population to get representation is for them to become aware of the chaotic state of their majority class and culture, want representation and unite as the diversified class and culture we are, and demand representation in Congress for the unrepresented majority American Common Populace Class and Culture, so that along with the American Middle Class and the American Aristocracy, the American Common Populace as a class and culture will have their own representatives and senators, as neither the American Middle Class Democrats nor the American Aristocracy’s Republicans represent the American Common Populace as a class and culture even though they are in their parties. 

As long as the American Common Populace are not aware of their class and culture they won’t choose to organize for representation of their class and culture; President Obama can’t represent them if they won’t represent themselves, but if they will unite, form an agenda and demand representation for the 70% Majority Common Population as a class and culture, they will not be refused, as they ARE the majority population; then representation and change will happen. 

Neither the American Middle Class nor the American Aristocracy have any interest at all in bringing awareness to the majority American Common Populace as to their class and culture, as long as the American Common Populace choose to be unrepresented as subjects, it is OK with them, as both the Democrats and the Republicans can agree to do whatever they want and stick a pacifier in the majority American Common Populace’s mouth and tell them they are all the Middle Class.  As long as the majority American Common Populace accept this type of treatment without representing their own best interest themselves, lack of representation will continue, but if they become aware, stand up uncontentiously, organize, represent their own best interest themselves, and declare themselves as the American Common Populace Class and Culture that is unrepresented, the American Common Populace will by their unrelenting stand acquire equal representation.

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By Caro, January 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

Just like you, Mr. Sirota, with all your lies about
Hillary Clinton and her supporters.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

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By SuperMike1661, January 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Sirota should forget all the analysis and do the REPORTING JOB.

Here is the list of bloody Right Wing deeds that never ends because it is NEVER REPORTED.
—————————————————

THE RIGHT WING MURDER CAMPAIGN… WILL IT NEVER END?
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Version 1.1 updated on 1/15/2011


Post this list far and wide.  Corporation Media does not want you to know.

—July 2008: A gunman named Jim David Adkisson, agitated at how “liberals” are “destroying America,” walks into a Unitarian Church and opens fire, killing two churchgoers and wounding four others.

—October 2008: Two neo-Nazis are arrested in Tennessee in a plot to murder dozens of African-Americans, culminating in the assassination of President Obama.

—December 2008: A pair of “Patriot” movement radicals—the father-son team of Bruce and Joshua Turnidge, who wanted “to attack the political infrastructure”—threaten a bank in Woodburn, Oregon, with a bomb in the hopes of extorting money that would end their financial difficulties, for which they blamed the government. Instead, the bomb goes off and kills two police officers. The men eventually are convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.

—December 2008: In Belfast, Maine, police discover the makings of a nuclear “dirty bomb” in the basement of a white supremacist shot dead by his wife. The man, who was independently wealthy, reportedly was agitated about the election of President Obama and was crafting a plan to set off the bomb.

—January 2009: A white supremacist named Keith Luke embarks on a killing rampage in Brockton, Mass., raping and wounding a black woman and killing her sister, then killing a homeless man before being captured by police as he is en route to a Jewish community center.

—February 2009: A Marine named Kody Brittingham is arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate President Obama. Brittingham also collected white-supremacist material.

—April 2009: A white supremacist named Richard Poplawski opens fire on three Pittsburgh police officers who come to his house on a domestic-violence call and kills all three, because he believed President Obama intended to take away the guns of white citizens like himself. Poplawski is currently awaiting trial.

—April 2009: Another gunman in Okaloosa County, Florida, similarly fearful of Obama’s purported gun-grabbing plans, kills two deputies when they come to arrest him in a domestic-violence matter, then is killed himself in a shootout with police.

—May 2009: A “sovereign citizen” named Scott Roeder walks into a church in Wichita, Kansas, and assassinates abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

—June 2009: A Holocaust denier and right-wing tax protester named James Von Brunn opens fire at the Holocaust Museum, killing a security guard.

—February 2010: A software engineer furious with the Internal Revenue Service launched a suicide attack on the agency by crashing his small plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, setting off a raging fire, killing two.  The suicide note stated, “Violence is not only the answer, it is the only answer…”

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By Anarcissie, January 15, 2011 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Well observed, Oddsox.  I agree with Maani as well.  The way I would put it is, ‘Gun control has to start at the top.’

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By MarthaA, January 15, 2011 at 2:11 am Link to this comment

Maani, January 15 at 5:23 am,

Maani said: “All fine and good.  But you don’t need a Glock, AK47, or Uzi to hunt game or to protect yourself and your livestock from predators, etc.  Do you agree?”

MarthaA’s Answer: Yes I do agree,  I do not own any military type weapons, but I would not want to give up my right to be able to own military weapons as part of a militia for the protection of our country against foreign or domestic terrorists should a situation arise.  The world is getting smaller, so to say, and one never knows when it could become necessary to mount a defense against terrorists, foreign or domestic; therefore, I would not want to be a criminal for owning them. 

Remember what happened in Waco, TX and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, not to mention the unarmed that were shot down at Kent State. I would want to go down fighting for my home and family if it became necessary. 

The National Guard is used over seas now, instead of on the home front, but anyway the National Guard is only used to protect businesses, not members of the populace, so citizen militias is all the populace have.

It is my hope that the lower 70% of the population in the United States, the American Common Populace, without contention will unite as the American Common Populace Class and Culture for representation of the American Common Populace in the making and enforcing of legislated law and order in the United States, and will be recognized as the class and culture that they are by the American Middle Class Democrats and the American Aristocracy’s Republicans; it isn’t an impossibility, it can happen when the people make it happen, then there will be real democracy in the United States because all classes and cultures will be represented and Right-Wing propaganda will not be able to flow so easily.

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By Maani, January 15, 2011 at 12:23 am Link to this comment

Martha:

“Daddy kept a lot of guns.  When we were little he went bird hunting, and he used guns to protect the chickens from foxes, opossums, hawks, and snakes, and he killed chicken eating cats and dogs, whatever was necessary, animals were shot and butchered for food—one time a rabid dog was necessary to be shot.  We as children knew what the guns were for and possibly that is where people make mistakes with their children, not training them and allowing them to see how the guns are used to kill.  My grandson would be dead if there had not have been a gun handy to kill an attacking mountain lion that he was running to get away from when a child.”

All fine and good.  But you don’t need a Glock, AK47, or Uzi to hunt game or to protect yourself and your livestock from predators, etc.  Do you agree?

Peace.

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By CitizenWhy, January 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment

To MarthaA: Having lived in places where guns were part of the practical way
people live, as you describe, I understand that gun ownership is not the demon
it has sometimes been made out to be. The gun owners ran the gamut from
socialists to far right. As a liberal I got along just fine with my right wing
neighbors (many John Birchers) because we were neighborly. I have also never
understood how the 2nd amendment can be interpreted in any way than that
citizens have a right to own guns for the purposes you state. I have never
owned a gun and would not know how to use one. No need. I live in a city, in a
nice minority majority neighborhood with little or no crime. We are neighborly
to each other.

But it is very risky for a teenager to own a gun here, and that keeps crime
down. Is that bad? for instance I was set on once (different, nicer neighborhood)
by a gang of 6 kids. I might not have been so lucky if they had guns. Elderly and
carrying bundles I faced them and chased them off, using street smart
techniques known to city people and few suburbanites. The attempted assault
(they got one whack in when my back was turned) must have been some sort of
initiation because when I looked into the eyes of the kid who hit me I could see
that he did not want to be doing this. We exchanged some real intuitions of
empathy and sadness, and I often wonder what happened to that kid.

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By MarthaA, January 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

Maani, January 15 at 1:56 am,

One can’t let fear rule.  If you live by the gun, you will die by the gun, one must not live by the gun; but a gun is an absolute for protection from various things besides people. 

Daddy kept a lot of guns.  When we were little he went bird hunting, and he used guns to protect the chickens from foxes, opossums, hawks, and snakes, and he killed chicken eating cats and dogs, whatever was necessary, animals were shot and butchered for food—one time a rabid dog was necessary to be shot.  We as children knew what the guns were for and possibly that is where people make mistakes with their children, not training them and allowing them to see how the guns are used to kill.  My grandson would be dead if there had not have been a gun handy to kill an attacking mountain lion that he was running to get away from when a child.

The best protection against tyranny by any government is a unified populace with or without guns, because if 70% of the population is marching, no weapons formed against them will prosper against them all until they accomplish the removal of that tyranny. 

A populace that will unify without contention as a class and culture for their own representation in government can accomplish democracy for the populace.  In the United States, the American Populace, must quit allowing the other classes and cultures to get them into contention through their propagandists so that they can criminalize the individuals and treat the whole 70% majority American Populace in the United States as children that can be brushed aside.  With 308 Million population in the United States that makes the American Populace 216 Million people strong and the wealthy call them a mob, but that mob is what is necessary for democracy to exist, that mob for democracy is the American Populace as a class and culture.

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By Maani, January 14, 2011 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Martha:

“The American Populace must not by any means give up their right to guns where it is a criminal offense to own a gun, because it is not the guns that kill people, it is the people and their thirst for power that causes killing…If a person decides to kill, they will whether they have a gun or not, but having a gun is a safety measure of defense from any would be killer of human life.”

While I understand your good intentions, you are simply incorrect here.  The old canard that “guns don’t kill people” is just that: a canard.  In fact, owning a gun is a good way to GET killed: since most people are killed by someone they know, having a gun in the home is an invitation to greater harm - as proven over decades by FBI and law enforcement statistics.  As well, more people are injured or killed by their OWN guns - after being taken away from them by criminals (or found in the home and used against them) - than are saved by owning one.  Again, statistics bears this out.

As for owning guns as a protection re government tyranny, I suppose I support that, since it was, in fact, one of the reasons the Second Amendment was created.  However, if we are going to be realistic, even a houseful of guns (inclucing Uzis) is only a temporary stopgap against a military that has tanks, APVs, and weapons the likes of which you are not even aware exist already.

CitizenWhy:

“Under free speech, hate is an allowable way to entertain, gain rabid supporters and fundraise for political candidates.”

Actually, that is not entirely true.  Our First Amendment protections are not “absolute.”  This is why you cannot shout “fire” in a theater (unless, of course, there is a fire…), why you cannot “assemble” if doing so would present an immediate danger to another person, and why one’s freedom of religion is “defined” by the (dangerously eroding) “wall” between church and state.

Some speech IS actionable.  For example, speech that “incites to riot” is illegal.  As is speech that “incites to violence.”  The question here is whether the “speech” (both verbal and symbolic) of Palin, Limbaugh, Beck et al rises to the level of “inciteful.”  Needless to say, for very good reason, the bar is set pretty high.  So even if there were a lawsuit, it is unlikely (but by no means impossible) that a judge would find any of the incendiary right-wing bloviators guilty of having “incited” violence.

Peace.

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By johncp, January 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

The absurdity, the “insanity” of media talk has reached the breaking point.  Loughren is not the only nutcase here.  We’ve had an unwritten law, that demands that no one dare challenge the Right (by which I mean, the “Infallible,” i.e. the ever and always Right, or, if you like, “ultra” conservatives) in its hunger for “quick” solutions, solutions requiring no thought, no reflection, just “their” solutions.  Why think, why ponder the complexities we all face in our lives, when the absolute truth emerges from the mouths of Right-wingers?  Loughren’s violence is the last step in a process emerging from this brain-mindset.  The media are especially blameworthy in this regard.  They’re the worst offenders.  They have to be.  The Righwing philosophy has to keep in step with the Profit at All Costs, view of the world.  And there you have mainstream media in a nutshell.  But now, instead of a strategic, if momentary, realaxing of this pounding demand that we all “keep our mouths shut,” about the ease with which the lunatics that ceaselessly dream up ways of killing people all over the world, and ridding ourselves of the “weirdos” that try to slow down the madness in our own country, by asking for a search for peacefull approaches to international problems, increased funding for the desperate needs of our educational institutions, increased environmental awareness, increased support for lessening the breathtaking suffering and abandonment of our old, infirm, and poverty-striken masses, and most pressing of all, the need for “real” health care reform, we are hearing that it’s not this lunatic talk that must stop, but, quite the opposite, and that includes, mind you, the charge that “the killing and brutality in Tucson, had ‘nothing’ to do with politics.(?)”  What we call “politics,” is one of a few ways, perhaps the most important way, we humans try to bring some order out of the chaos and confusion of our existences.  To say that violence expressed at this hideous level, aimed directly at “particular” political figures, with “particular” political outlooks, at a political event, “had nothing to do with politics,” reveals what hypocrites and liars media stooges are, what evasion of anything resembling the truth, they’re capable of, and, worst of all, the utter contempt in which they hold the masses, that thoughtlessly watch their news broadcasts, or read the garbage they’re fed on “news and commentary” websites, by crassly self-seving, and enthusiastic servile buffoons like Chris Matthews, for the rich folk that reluctantly pay for his boob tube garbage.

Everything done by and to everyone, is done in a political framework.  It’s impossible for anything that happens in a society that has the slightest basis for calling itself “organized,” to be without political meaning. Loughren’s actions are the actions of a delusional puppet, whose strings were pulled, in the course of over 20 years, by social and “political” forces out to achieve political ends, using humans as tools, to do it.  This is the worst outcome of a process, carefully molded and manufactured to destroy political opposition to a despicalble agenda, formed to produce greater power for certain elites.  This violence was probably, though not certainly, unexpected, by the designers of the aforementioned agendas, but it was certainly a political, though remote, consequence of inhumanity and the arrogance, recklessnes and thoughtlessness of power and dominion, at all costs.

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By G.Anderson, January 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

Desperate people do desperate things. Until that desperation is more than a passing
interest to our political leadership, no amount of moralizing will change things.

Until it stops being someone else’s responsibility, to stop the abyss from appearing on
main street, then blaming will be as close as you will ever get to the truth.

Misdirection;  under which shell is the pea of our future country hiding?

Or are all the shells essentially the same. Democratic, Republican, Corporate…?

Empty shells full of nothing but empty words ?

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By samosamo, January 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

****************

 

““By madisolation, January 14 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

I remember when the media’s job was to investigate politicians
and corporations.”“
*****************

Well, not now when the corporations own the mainstream media
who protect the politicians who work hard for those criminal
bribe lobbying dollars. Most likely as good a description and
definition of ‘quid quo pro’.

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By CitizenWhy, January 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

Under free speech, hate is an allowable way to entertain, gain rabid supporters and
fundraise for political candidates.

No surprise that free speech would be used this way. Under raw capitalism the
only moral value is success with money. We are measured by our financial worth,
and our access to or lack of access to power. This was also how morality worked
in the Soviet Union. There the elite of the Communist Party ruled, with phony
elections for show. Here lobbyists and bankers rule. Are our elections phony,
totally unable to block the power the right wing forces have over our government?

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By Bethany, January 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Try as I might, I have to agree with Oddsox.  (No offense to you good sir or
madam, I hope you understand.  It’s my unfortunate tendency to fall into my
party’s lines and agree with anything a progressive says.)

Piety is easy. A conscious decision and following through is not.  Better to be
one of the silent saints than have your decisions weighed as if they mean
something.

Our discussion boards are a good example.  We’re pious until someone
disagrees and then we’re self-righteous, invoking Godwin’s law like Sarah Palin
on a bender. It’s so interesting the easy and immediate hatred we feel for those
online who disagree with our opinions.  I wonder if it’s the anonymity.  Maybe
we’d be better off if discussion boards forced their readers and commenters to
have a conversation before a debate.  Much harder to eviscerate your enemy
when you know about their kids or dog or something?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, January 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

Maani, January 14 at 4:33 pm,

If militaristic propaganda is abated against the American Populace,  the hate will cool down, but as long as the United States only has two political parties and the conservatives of both parties choose to use militaristic propaganda against the populace and mafia tactics for control of power, the American majority populace needs to quietly and peacefully begin a systematic withdrawal into representing their own interests in socialized capitalism, like the Bank of North Dakota, because the American Populace, the forgotten majority, will never be represented as a class and culture by either party; they will choose to represent their own classes and cultures and continue using the American Populace as expendable independent individuals.

The American Populace must not by any means give up their right to guns where it is a criminal offense to own a gun, because it is not the guns that kill people, it is the people and their thirst for power that causes killing; knives are also weapons.  If a person decides to kill, they will whether they have a gun or not, but having a gun is a safety measure of defense from any would be killer of human life.

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