Tag Archives: pravda

American politics is a fun parade of lies, for which we pay dearly

Summary; Another day, another “2 minute hate” — this time by the Left on my post The 97% consensus of climate scientists is only 47%. They’re the usual assortment of misrepresentations and lies prepared for their tribe, who accept them without question. I’ll do the usual fact-rich boring debunking of them tomorrow. But it’s more important to understand the game being played on us. Here is a brief description of the group dynamics that run America and makes reform almost impossible. Of course, these are generalities, and cannot apply to every situation, every time, or every individual.

Truth vs Lies

Valuing Tribe over truth

Truth is impossible to know. But functionality requires the some ability to tell fact from fiction, albeit imperfectly. During WWII and the Cold War era, when the American middle class grew in size and wealth, our elites made a great discovery: they could lie to us with impunity (details here). Like so many innovations, this was first discovered by the NAZI government — and further developed by other western governments.

Each side of the political spectrum put this powerful knowledge into use to develop their faction into groups with tribal truths — resistant to rebuttal by logic or fact by the evil others, and producing followers of guaranteed loyalty and easy to manipulate. Hence our 21st C America.

This led to fear-mongering and debunking as the primary form of political communication. Unrestrained by criticism, each faction arouses its members with visions of doom. This game became commonplace in the late 1960s, and rose to dominate our national dialog during the past 20 years.

Since the 1960s the Right has relied on tales of moral degeneracy sparking civilization’s collapse, Red Dawn, fifth columns, Shari law, national bankruptcy, sleeper cells, Hispanic hordes, hyperinflation, rampant crime, collapse of the US dollar, etc. The Left warns of resource exhaustion, megadeaths from famines and pollution, ecosystem collapse, and imminent fascism (Bush is like Hitler).

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Government officials’ lies erode the Republic’s foundation. Do we care?

Summary: Today we look at a vital indicator showing the decay of the Republic and point to the guilty parties. Our leaders lie to us, often and about serious matters. The price paid by them and us has come due. How we pay it will help determine our future.

“Never believe anything about the government until it has been officially denied.”
— Attributed to Bismarck. Lies from government are not new.

Contents

  1. Another day, another lie.
  2. List the big lies.
  3. The most important poll.
  4. What comes next?
  5. For More Information

(1) Another day, another lie.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, 20 February 2015

And our view continues to be that political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal. We do not support a political transition in Venezuela by non-constitutional means.

She doubled down on March 10, saying “despite the statements to the contrary from Venezuelan officials, we are not promoting instability in Venezuela. Rather we believe respect for democratic norms and human rights is the best guarantee of Venezuela’s stability.”

This is quite false. The US has assisted — sometimes taking the lead — in overthrowing scores of elected governments since 1900. A large fraction of these were elected leaders who advocated policies the US government did not like. That tradition continues up to the 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine following its President signing a trade treaty with the US instead of the EU.

As for “democratic norms and human rights”, US allies outside Europe have often been short on these. For details visit one of our closest allies, the land run by the Saudi Princes.

Realpolitic justifies alliances with nations having political systems we find disgusting. There are too few angels on Earth to guarantee our safety (and they might not choose to ally with us). Our hypocrisy is quite amazing. But that’s not the subject of this post.

During WWII our leaders routinely lied to us, justified by military necessity. After WWII they continued to do so, ever more frequently and boldly. They considered this wise, reinforcing the distinction between the inner party who knows the truth and the outer party that believes the lies (the proles remain uncaring and ignorant). It worked for decades.

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Another day, another campaign of fearmongering in America: North Korea’s cyberattack on Sony

Summary: Another day, another campaign by the fearmongers to terrify America. Leaks from anonymous officials, amplified by cybersecurity and national security experts (noses planted in the trough) — journalists eager to fill the space between ads — and its time for war with North Korea (again). First post in this series; see links to the others at the end.

Truth, not Pravda, Will Make You Free

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Polls show the American public has low confidence in government and journalists. With the exception of our police and military, whom most Americans hold in high regard. Journalists, who we trust not at all, are even more credulous — with a child-like trust in the words of government officials (at least, that’s how they report the news). That’s not the problem.

Unfortunately for us, government officials — civilian and military, high and low — lie. A lot. Often. As we see months after the news hits the tape, in the frequent (but little noticed) corrections.

The list is endless. And about the Warren Commission Report… But that is not the problem. Too often we believe government officials: journalists, geopolitical experts, us. We’re credulous, gullible. That’s the problem, one of our most serious. It cripples our ability to clearly see the world and respond to events. We spend our time alternating between rage and fear about largely imaginary threats. This makes us easy to rule, since it renders us incapable of self-government.

Now the cycle begins anew. Government officials accuse North Korea, one of the small poor nations George Bush Jr. puffed up into the “Axis of Evil” that threatened the West, of hacking Sony. The result is embarrassment for its executives and some financial loss to that already troubled mega-corp.  So (again) the US government provokes hysterics, as our hawks urge that we arrest the usual suspects.

A week ago the ball started rolling with leaks pointing to North Korea, and bizarrely speculative reasoning — like this by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of House Intelligence Committee): ” North Korea denied responsibility but did not condemn the attacks.” See their response here. We should worry about that reasoning, since Rogers is a former FBI agent. Update: here’s the brief FBI statement blaming North Korea for the attack on Sony. This afternoon Reuters serves the usual weak tea on which our geopolitical experts go insanely hawkish:

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Look at past airliner shootings so we can learn about government lies

Summary:  Airliners are occasionally shot down (collateral damage) by modern air defense systems. Like children run over cross the street, it’s an ugly fact of modern life. These extreme (but fortunately rare) events reveal much about the behavior of governments — and about us. Governments lie; they do so because we believe them (no matter how much we pretend no to). We can learn from our past; we can do better.

“Never believe anything about the government until it has been officially denied.”
— Attributed to Bismarck.

“Since becoming a journalist I had often heard the advice to “believe nothing until it has been officially denied”.
— Claud Cockburn (Irish journalist), A Discord of Trumpets (1956)

Air Defense Artillary

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The young men running modern air defense systems can shoot down an airliner with the push of a button. No matter how well trained, and they’re often not, under pressure the complex (often confusing) flood of information on their screens lead to bad decisions.

(1)  Russia’s military shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007 on 1 September 1983, followed by the usual false stories. Only in 1992 did they release vital information about the event. They never apologized.

(2)  Ukraine’s military shot down Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 on 4 October 2001. For 9 days they denied responsibility.

The FM website is about America. We too have shot down a civilian airliner. The incident deserves attention because it can – and should — enlighten us about the nature of our government, and ourselves. It’s a standard drama of our time, repeated frequently, from which we seem unable to learn. But first let’s step back in history.

The Soviet Union shoots down a U-2

In 1960 the Soviet Union shot down Gary Powers’ U2 flight. The US denied that he was flying over their territory. They lied to fool us, since the Soviet Union’s officials knew the facts. The truth quickly emerged. US officials then made a discovery of the sort that changes the fate of nation: there were no consequences to lies, even when caught. No penalties. No laughter when they lie again; not even skepticism.

The shooting of Iran Air Flight 655

The USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988. The US initially denied it (see this AP story, and the transcript of the DoD Press Briefing. The next day we took responsibility, but made a wide range of claims in defense about the location of the ship and the behavior of the aircraft — all of which justified the shooting.

On 28 July 1988 DoD published its Formal Investigation, which won the Doublespeak award for 1988 for “omission, distortion, contradiction, and misdirection”, presented by the National Council of Teachers of English (“Doublespeak and Iran Air Flight 655″).

On 8 September 1988 DoD presented these lies to the House Armed Services Committee, as ritualistic a performance as Noh but without the art and music (see the transcript).

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Learning to see beyond the American Pravda

Summary:  Here we discuss a powerful article about a serious weakness of America — our broken observation-orientation-decision-action loop. Specifically, our ability to orient our present in term of our history, a broken mechanism because of our amnesia and gullibility. We need not be like this; we can change.

Unless we see & remember, news is the 21st C's opiate of the masses.

Unless we see & remember, news is the 21st C’s opiate of the masses.

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Recommended reading: “Our American Pravda“, Ron Unz, The America Conservative, 29 April 2013 — “The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?”

The author discusses one of the marvels of our age: how the world is nothing like we saw it a 70 years ago, or even a decade ago. The author discusses a some noteworthy examples of our gullibility and amnesia.

  • The serious penetration of communist sympathisers and agents in the US government (although exaggerated by conservatives like McCarthy, Nixon, and Unz).
  • The frequent failure of our corporate accounting and regulatory apparatus, as seen in the tech-boom busts (with Enron the last and largest examples) and the banking failures during the great recession.
  • The massive campaign of lies surrounding the anthrax attack (so vital in passing the Patriot Act) and our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • And other stories even more thoroughly ignored by the mainstream press, and so remaining unknown to the American people.

Unz’s great article just scratches the surface of the layered deceptions preventing Americans from clearly seeing the world as it is.

Our Presidents, a facade of lies hides the men

US Presidents are among the most closely scrutinized people on the planet. We must know their true nature since they take office only after a successful career and brutally long election.  But we don’t. In fact the media help develop characterizations for Presidents & VPs, which becomes “fact” for Americans through intensive indoctrination. Kennedy was a sportsman and family man. Ford was a clumsy. Dan Quayle was dumb. Reagan was a fool. It’s astonishing how consistently wrong these are. Backwards, even.

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Stanislav Mishin sees “American capitalism gone with a whimper”

Comment by Arms Merchant:

Here’s an interesting perspective from a Pravda editorial writer. His diagnosis of why we are incapable of self-government is It’s the Culture, Stupid. The Russians should be in a position to know, having suffered through their own experiment with Marxism.

Foreigners often have provide valuable perspectives on America, going back to Alexis de Tocqueville. Here is an excerpt from the article Arms Merchant recommends we read. Mishin writes at the blog Mat Rodina.

 “American capitalism gone with a whimper

By Stanislav Mishin
Op-ed in Pravda, 27 April 2009
Posted with the permission of the author.

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.
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