Saturday, December 31, 2016
Friday, December 30, 2016
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Death of the Fourth Estate
Most people paying attention to the news can surely sense that something is amiss with the American media. Trust is at an all time low. Are we systematically being fed lies? Is it possible that the American system of news and information, the fourth estate, has ceased to exist wihtout so much as a decent funeral and a propaganda outlet inserted in its place in some sort of bloodless media coup?
The press was first referred to as the fourth estate by Thomas Carlyle in 1841 who deemed it as more important to a representative democracy than the other three traditional estates, the church, the nobility, and the townsman or commoners. The importance of the press is twofold: it informs the citizenry and also serves as a feedback loop between the government and voters.
Determining if the press can be trusted is an essential task for any true citizen. Highlighted below are two articles from a series by Ron Unz entititled, Our American Pravda featured in the Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection. In the first piece, Ron chronicles his own journey toward media distrust by highlighting the failure of the media to report on a number of well known, high profile scandals.
The second article is how the term “conspiracy theory” became a pejorative term of ideological combat used to bludgeon a legion of truth seekers.
Our American Pravda
The realization that the world is often quite different from what is presented in our leading newspapers and magazines is not an easy conclusion for most educated Americans to accept, or at least that was true in my own case. For decades, I have closely read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and one or two other major newspapers every morning, supplemented by a wide variety of weekly or monthly opinion magazines. Their biases in certain areas had always been apparent to me. But I felt confident that by comparing and contrasting the claims of these different publications and applying some common sense, I could obtain a reasonably accurate version of reality. I was mistaken.
Aside from the evidence of our own senses, almost everything we know about the past or the news of today comes from bits of ink on paper or colored pixels on a screen, and fortunately over the last decade or two the growth of the Internet has vastly widened the range of information available to us in that latter category. Even if the overwhelming majority of the unorthodox claims provided by such non-traditional web-based sources is incorrect, at least there now exists the possibility of extracting vital nuggets of truth from vast mountains of falsehood. Certainly the events of the past dozen years have forced me to completely recalibrate my own reality-detection apparatus. Read more…
American Pravda: How the CIA Invented “Conspiracy Theories
With the sudden, bizarre rise of the “Fake News” accusations throughout the entire Corporate Media megaphone and the equally bizarre and totally unsubstantiated CIA allegations that the Russians had stolen the election for Donald Trump, I’ve decided to republish this somewhat related article of mine from a few months ago while I’m preoccupied with software issues.
These factors of media manipulation were very much in my mind a couple of years ago when I stumbled across a short but fascinating book published by the University of Texas academic press. The author of Conspiracy Theory in America was Prof. Lance deHaven-Smith, a former president of the Florida Political Science Association.
Based on an important FOIA disclosure, the book’s headline revelation was that the CIA was very likely responsible for the widespread introduction of “conspiracy theory” as a term of political abuse, having orchestrated that development as a deliberate means of influencing public opinion.
But although the CIA appears to have effectively manipulated public opinion in order to transform the phrase “conspiracy theory” into a powerful weapon of ideological combat, the author also describes how the necessary philosophical ground had actually been prepared a couple of decades earlier. Around the time of the Second World War, an important shift in political theory caused a huge decline in the respectability of any “conspiratorial” explanation of historical events.
In fact, I would extend this notion to a general principle. Substantial control of the media is almost always an absolute prerequisite for any successful conspiracy, the greater the degree of control the better. So when weighing the plausibility of any conspiracy, the first matter to investigate is who controls the local media and to what extent. Read more…
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Friday, December 23, 2016
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
It’s been over two years since I started writing for TheBlaze, so I assume this is old news to most everybody. However, I still run across people who come to this site looking for my new content, and leave confused when they don’t find it.
All of my new content is now (and has been for two years) at TheBlaze. You can follow this link to get to my channel at TheBlaze, where all of my columns and podcasts are posted. I would suggest hitting “follow” at the top of that page so that you’ll be notified when new content is posted.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Putin= Evil Is as Old As The Hills
Demonization of foreign leaders with no substantial evidence is a clear sign that something is amiss., anonymous CIA claims not withstanding. Juan Cole refutes the baseless claims that Russia and Putin affected the election.
Demonization of Putin as Propaganda Technique
The leaked allegations supposedly from the CIA that Russian President Vladimir Putin “personally” directed how hacked emails from the Clinton campaign should be used should be treated with a good deal of skepticism.
I have already said that the allegations of effective Russian interference in the US election do not make any sense to me. There is no point at which anything Russia is said to have done can be shown to have determined the election outcome.
The things that appear to have hurt Clinton late in the election were her “deplorables” comment about Trump supporters, and the Comey letter about the new emails the FBI had found on Anthony Weiner’s computer. Neither of these incidents had any Russian connection.
I don’t doubt that Russian intelligence was interested in sowing discord in the US around its election. I am saying that there is no evidence that it succeeded.
Moreover, John Podesta’s emails were not hacked. He fell for a phishing scheme in which he received a phony email asking for his login information, which he answered after a technical assistant incorrectly told him the email was legitimate (he meant to say illegitimate). The phishing scheme could easily have failed (never click on a link in your email and then enter sensitive information– open any login page you use manually so as to make sure you aren’t going to a spoofed address; and, first examine the address line from which the email originated; phonies can be easily spotted. People you deal with legitimately aren’t going to ask you for your login information–they already have that).
Given that no one can point to any specific incident or incidents in which the Podesta emails had a discernible effect on the election, there is little reason to blame the outcome of the election on Russia.
Whenever the US intelligence agencies collaborate with mass media to throw up on the screen the face of a foreign leader, giving him devil’s horns and making his face red with the flames of hell, we have to take that depiction as a sign that they intend to do something to that country. Read more
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
We are living in fascinating times. The efforts expended to destroy and delegitimize Trump are unprecedented and extraordinary. Paul Criag Roberts identifies the forces aligned against Trump and the tactics being used. A conspiracy is a group of people working together in a clandestine way to achieve a trecherous or evil goal. Shutting down free speech and slandering those who are speaking truth to power may be the ultimate end game in this new onslaught of russian hacking propaganda beyond simply attacking Trump.
In the following article Roberts destroys the credibility of propornot.org the anonoymous group at the center of the fake news meme going viral.
Whatever you think of Trump, clearly the oligarchs who rule us fear him. The oligarchs are trying to keep Trump out of the presidency, and they are trying to associate truthful reporting with foreign influence.
Who wins this war determines the fate of America.
The Conspiracy to Shut Down Truth, Donald Trump, and The American People
The Conspiracy to Shut Down Truth, Donald Trump, and The American People
There is circumstantial evidence that the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the rest of the presstitute media are part of a conspiracy with the oligarchs, the military/security complex, the Hillary Democrats, and neoconized Republicans to shut down the dissident Internet alternative media and to deny Donald Trump the presidency.
Consider the brand new website PropOrNot and its fake news list of 200 Internet Russian agents. PropOrNot is a website hidden behind multiple screens as would be an offshore tax avoidance scheme. In other words, no known, responsible entity is behind the site, which has libeled 200 other websites, or if it is, it is too ashamed of what it is doing to be associated with it publicly.
Consider the expertise and money required to shield the identity of an organization, whether tax avoidance or website. This is not something that just anyone can do. This type of Klingon cloaking requires real money or the CIA.
As long as it pretends to be a newspaper, the Washington Post is subject to journalistic ethics. But the PropOrNot story by Craig Timberg violated journalistic ethics. Unsupported accusations were leveled against 200 websites, a McCarthyism record.
How did a story, which would have been instantly quashed by editors in my day as a Wall Street Journal editor get past Timberg’s editor?
That is the question.
Here we have the Post committing libel against 200 websites, all of whom can sue for damages. There go Bezos’ billions.
Would a Washington Post editor of any intelligence have published such a libel-inviting story unless the owner, Bezos, gave the OK or the order?
How can the Washington Post feel secure in an act of libel?
The post What is This Russian Hacking Propaganda All About? appeared first on PropagandaGuard.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Tentative findings presented as unassailable conclusions are one of the hallmarks of propaganda in the modern age. Be sure to link through and read the entire article and you will get real information on the malware programs that were actually used to hack the DNC and you can draw your own conclusions as to whether there could be definitive evidence of Russian involvment.
Former Intelligence Officer On The Bogus Russian Hack
If there’s one thing that’s certain in the intelligence business, it’s that there’s rarely any certainty.
That’s pretty much the first thing they teach you at spy school.
Back in the early days of my intelligence career, I had one instructor who explained it in a way that I’ll never forget.
“If you present your analysis as if it’s fact, instead of conjecture, the person who’s relying on your intelligence could end up making a bad decision that gets people killed.”
Intelligence is not about definitive conclusions. It’s about gathering data and coming up with plausible theories that connect the dots.
Sadly, sometimes those theories are influenced by personal or political agendas.
Back in 2002-2003, the Bush White House had a pretty clear predisposition that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).
Miraculously, the intelligence reports conformed to that narrative.
And America went to war based on an “unassailable conclusion” from the intelligence community that Iraq had WMDs.
The facts were largely bogus, circumstantial at best. But this became the rallying cry behind every politician and media outlet’s patriotic bloodlust.
How quickly they all forget. Read more at zerohedge.com
The post How to Sniff Out Propaganda: Conjecture Is Not Certainty appeared first on PropagandaGuard.