Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
From Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation (Includes The 8 Traits of A Disinformationalist) by H. Michael Sweeney. These 25 rules are everywhere in media, from political debates, to television shows, to comments on a blog.
1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.
2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.
3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have no basis in fact.
4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.
6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.
7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.
10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.
11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the “high road” and “confess” with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, “just isn’t so.” Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for “coming clean” and “owning up” to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.
12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.
14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.
15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.
16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.
17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can “argue” with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.
18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how “sensitive they are to criticism”.
19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the “play dumb” rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.
20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.
21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.
22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.
24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.
25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.
55 Things About America You May Not Know
Is America the greatest nation on the planet? Before you answer that question, you might want to check out the statistics that I have shared in this article first. The reality is that the United States is in a deep state of decline, and it is getting harder to deny that fact with each passing day. Mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially we are a train wreck. Many that are “patriotic” attempt to put a happy face on our growing problems, but the truly patriotic thing to do is to admit just how bad things have gotten so that we can start finding solutions. If you truly love this country, then you should know that this nation needs a huge wake up call. We have abandoned the values and the principles that early Americans held so dear, and as a result our society is a giant mess. The following are 55 things about America that you may not know…
#2 Americans spend more on health care per capita than anyone else in the world by far, and yet we only rank 35th in life expectancy.
#3 Only one state in the entire country has an obesity rate of under 20 percent. 11 states have an obesity rate of over 30 percent.
#4 Of all the major industrialized nations, America is the most obese. Mexico is #2.
#5 Back in 1962, only 13 percent of all Americans were obese, but it is being projected that 42 percent of all Americans could be obese by the year 2030.
#6 According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 31 percent of all food in the United States gets wasted. In case you were wondering, that amounts to approximately 133 billion pounds of food a year.
#7 America has the highest incarceration rate and the largest total prison population in the entire world by a wide margin.
#8 In America, we even put 81-year-old women in prison for feeding the birds.
#9 According to a Newsweek survey taken a few years ago, 29 percent of all Americans could not even name the vice president.
#10 Americans spend more time sitting in traffic than anyone else in the world.
#11 60 percent of Americans report feeling “angry or irritable”. Two years ago that number was at 50 percent.
#12 36 percent of Americans admit that they have yelled at a customer service agent during the past year.
#13 Only 30 percent of all Americans can tell you in what year the 9/11 attacks happened.
#14 There are more “deaths by reptile” in America than anywhere else in the world.
#15 Right now, 29 percent of all Americans under the age of 35 are living with their parents.
#16 Average SAT scores have been falling for years, and the level of education that our kids are receiving in most of our public schools is a total joke.
#17 According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, nearly 70 percent of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug. An astounding 20 percent of all Americans are on at least five prescription drugs.
#18 Americans spend more than 280 billion dollars on prescription drugs each year.
#19 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doctors in the United States write more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants each year.
#20 Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than children in Europe are.
#21 In the United States today, prescription painkillers kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.
#22 America has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.
#23 According to the federal government, the number of heroin addicts in the United States has more than doubled since 2002.
#24 It is hard to believe, but 56 percent of all Americans now have “subprime credit”.
#25 America exports more weapons to other countries than anyone else in the world.
#26 The United States has the most complicated tax system on the entire planet.
#27 Corruption is rampant throughout our society. In fact, America leads the world in money given to fake charities.
#28 America leads the world in soft drink consumption by a wide margin. Today, the average American drinks more than 600 sodas a year.
#29 In 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be “middle class”. In 2014, only 44 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be “middle class”.
#30 70 percent of Americans do not “feel engaged or inspired at their jobs”.
#31 40 percent of all workers in the United States actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968 after you account for inflation.
#32 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. Today, about one out of every 6 Americans is on food stamps.
#33 The marriage rate in the United States has fallen to an all-time low. Right now it is sitting at a yearly rate of 6.8 marriages per 1000 people.
#34 In the United States today, more than half of all couples “move in together” before they get married.
#35 America has the highest divorce rate in the world by a good margin.
#36 America has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire planet.
#37 100 years ago, 4.52 were living in the average U.S. household, but now the average U.S. household only consists of 2.59 people.
#38 According to the Pew Research Center, only 51 percent of all American adults are currently married. Back in 1960, 72 percent of all adults in the United States were married.
#39 For women under the age of 30 in the United States, more than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock.
#40 At this point, approximately one out of every three children in the United States lives in a home without a father.
#41 In 1970, the average woman had her first child when she was 21.4 years old. Now the average woman has her first child when she is 25.6 years old.
#42 America has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world by a very wide margin.
#43 Approximately one out of every four teen girls in the United States has at least one sexually transmitted disease.
#44 America has the highest STD infection rate in the entire industrialized world.
#45 According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there are 20 million new sexually-transmitted infections in the United States every single year, and Americans in the 15 to 24-year-old age range account for approximately 50 percent of those new sexually-transmitted infections.
#46 As I wrote about recently, there are 747,408 registered sex offendersin the U.S. according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
#47 America produces more pornography than any other nation in the world.
#48 America has the most lawyers per capita in the entire world.
#49 If you choose to be a “Constitutionalist” in America today, you may get labeled as a potential terrorist by the U.S. government.
#50 America has the largest national debt in the history of the world. Back in 1980, the U.S. national debt was less than one trillion dollars. Today, it is over 17 trillion dollars.
#51 According to the Congressional Budget Office, interest payments on the national debt will nearly quadruple over the next ten years.
#52 Americans spend more money on elections than anyone else does in the world by a very wide margin.
#53 65 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the U.S. system of government and its effectiveness”. That is the highest level of dissatisfaction that Gallup has ever recorded.
#54 Only 8 percent of Americans believe that Congress is doing a “good” or “excellent” job.
#55 70 percent of Americans do not have confidence that the federal government will “make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014.”