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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hillary denies Jim Crow. So? Politicians and the Valley of Error

 Reverend Wright and Don Imus Compared
Politicians and the Valley of Error

Hillary:  Perhaps each politician goes through the Valley of Error, but it is useful to keep a memory.

As we look each time at comparisons that politicians draw in order to buttress their own positions, regardless of underlying merit, recall when Hillary equated the strongly critical language of the former pastor for the Obama family, Reverend Wright, with the anti N______ hate talk of Imus, see ://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/26/hillary-clinton-compares-_n_93471.html; and ://www.time-blog.com/swampland/2008/03/rev_wright_don_imus.html

Jim Crow - a horrendous concept in our culture - see ://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/ http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/.

Look closer to see if that comparison holds up.  We have many talking heads on Opinion TV and Opinion Radio, it is worth checking on what they put out there.

Back from the Obama campaign:  Reverend Wright.  Was his series of references to factual history events race-baiting. Of course not. His statements were factually true as to basis. Hyperbole to make a point.
  • Factual history of a society's systemic oppression
  • Use of unknowing blacks as lab animals, could be seen as a who-cares-if-they-die-if HIV.
  • Use of hyperbole to make a strong point is a rhetorical technique used by all at podiums with big stakes
  • Motivating people to bind as a community to overcome injustice;
  • Expression of grief, anger and accusation.  With bases not far from the mark.
Compare that factual basis with Imus. We see
  • An unthinking (gut level, not analytical), derisive reflex to increase profit, ratings and notoriety.
  • Purposeful exploitation of a minority group, ridiculing Blacks who have been historically downtrodden.  When its members, are successful women basketball players, make fun of them "nappy" with the predictable and predicted effect -- break the will. Focus the attention on the racial attribute, not the individual talent
  • His perpetuation of injustice, second-class status and humiliation. Say, in effect, you may be in college, and you may think you are getting somewhere, but you are still black and nappy heigh-ho and I decide.
  • These are not hyperbole because there is no underlying factual basis to equating nappy hair with actual inferiority -- that is a cultural assumption, ridicule used as means of control
Now, are these the same? Talk for money and superiority, as in Imus vs. talk for justice, as in Wright?  Look up the Jim Crow Museum if that era has escaped you, or not part of your life and education.  Jim Crow Museum, Ferris State University, ://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/

Need more help?

Let's say the tail of a dog is a leg, says the joke. How many legs has the dog?
Did you bite?*
.......................................................................
*Four. Saying a tail is a leg doesn't make it so. Courtesy of the Hartford Courant Sunday jokes page somewhere, March 2008.

Friday, March 21, 2008

People of White are Shocked! Shocked! Meanwhile, The Jim Crow Museum Speaks.

Race and racial fodder topics. Tune in the talk-jocks on racism these days, and hear them discuss how shocked! shocked! they are. See ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM_A4Skusro. They have just discovered, through a few excerpts of a few sermons by a pastor to Barack Obama, Dr. Jeremiah Wright, that Policies of White are not beloved by People of Black, Brown, Tan, Yellow, Umber and Other. Call 911.

They have further discovered that public deference or silence are not the way the people talk themselves, among themselves.

How could they not love us as we love ourselves. Shocked! See also ://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034583/quotes; and do a run-through of the film "Casablanca" scene dialogue with your friends.

From that, move to whether to pay any attention to the talk-jocks. This voter:

a) Tends to avoid talk-jocks if they are over 60 (the panel we saw on cable was four elderly white guys gasping, although there are younger sets out there rattling similarly). Any age suggests a racial and other climate of reference at stages when a person is growing up - what sensitivities get embedded, like imprinting.

This voter also:

b) Seeks out views of those who show some vibe of understanding - the "I think I get it" tone - street creds in the area of expertise, see ://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=street+creds. And not just shock! with a dollar sign before each minute passing, while the talking head watches out for network ratings, rather then possible truth.

What street creds? Think of it like earning a Scout Merit Badge, see ://www.meritbadge.com/bsa/, (also GSA) by doing certain things. Maybe some of those gentlemen have already done so.

A. Scout Merit Badge on Race Shock

1. Go to the Jim Crow Museum site at ://jimcrow.museum/. The Museum is at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, ://www.ferris.edu/homepage.htm. The Jim Crow era was about 1870's to the 1960's. Learn about it - or refresh your recollection. Read and hear the entire site. Nothing less will do.

Enter the Jim Crow Museum site, and scroll to the menu tabled there. The first entry is "Selected Videos."

Click on the Selected Videos, watch the clips, listen, and cringe. This is what the talk-jocks over 50 grew up listening to, and absorbing. The other entries for clicking and learning and cringing:
Picaninny Caricature, N----- Caricature, Racist Cartoons, New Racist Forms, and many more; plus a virtual tour of the museum itself, and other film and audio-visual resources.

2. Look up the photos from Life Magazine and other sources of actual lynchings, body and all; and other atrocities; and news clips of racial integration efforts in the 1960's. Start here: at ://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0309/lm18.html. Make a bibliography of images so you can give them to someone else who then can find them also. Visit ://www.racematters.org/blacklifephotos.htm. There is some duplication, but additional photos at ://www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/african/2000/lynching.htm.

Absolutely required: Now, go hear Mahalia Jackson singing "Strange Fruit," about those events, those trees, the details, at ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4ZyuULy9zs.

3. Purchase albums of Mahalia Jackson, see ://www.rockhall.com/inductee/mahalia-jackson; and Billie Holliday, see://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I2a5AJUk7M. Research and write a biography of each. You may substitute Nat King Cole or other artist of your choice, but the biography is required.

4. Field trip. Go to a church with a membership not predominantly of your race, and try not to act surprised when you are welcomed, as you may well be.

5. Field trip and log. Spend a day at an emergency room in any urban hospital. Keep a log of what you see. Every 10 minutes, a new entry must be made. Do you get tired? Stop getting involved?

6. Field trip. Spend a day at any commercial daycare center in an urban, underprivileged area. Keep a log of what you see. Every 10 minutes, a new entry must be made. Do you get frustrated? Angry?

7. Field trip. Visit Big Brothers, Big Sisters, see ://www.bbbs.org/site/c.diJKKYPLJvH/b.1539751/k.BDB6/Home, or similar organization matching underprivileged children with more privileged, caring adults; and find four success stories and write them up at a Dunkin' Donuts in an urban neighborhood nearby.

8. Creative writing: autobiographical. Your final task: Racial and policy dissing. Write a short story about a time when you were present when People of White dissed People of Black, as people, and yet you remained to associate with those People of White. Can't think when you were present and others dissed blacks? Ever said "G-- D ---- It" yourself? Think again. Is there a tape?

Now: still have a problem with People of Black dissing the policies of People of White?

When you are done, have your parent sign on this sheet.

And, with that behind you, you talking heads, we may listen to what you say on TV or other media: about whether there are grounds for People of Color to disrespect the policies of People of White, the Whites' Policies as the owners of government, even if they exaggerate, or use hyperbolesee Joy of Equivocating: Hyperbole and Swiftboating by Literalism .

B. Check your accuracy and thoroughness before you talk. Put online each sermon by Jeremiah Wright over 20 years, so we can see, what part of the whole is represented by the endlessly looping clips. We hear much about the effect of hearing inflammatory language over 20 years. What are the facts?

Truth in media, misclaims of facthood. Complaints stemming from words without the context - this gets a rating of OP, see Joy of Equivocating, Media Reporting Fact Ratings.

How is Dr. Jeremiah Wright not right about grounds for anger. And is it true, that the reason given for 9/11 was our being in Arab lands. How will we know. Sources vary. Both ways.

By way of a postscript - rethink criticism of those who get out of western costume when abroad.

Some of us, even without sharing the heritage of the land, have also worn local dress - with pride, and gratitude for hospitality, and great respect.

We clearly don't blend in, but joining in paves other byways.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Follow the DOT - Addiction to Privatization. The Gospel of the Private Sector

Privatization. An Addiction.  A Gospel.
The Cult of Privatization

The Gospel of the Private Sector

Believe! And your own pockets will Overflow with Bounty
.
What is the difference between a physical addiction and a mental one: to a religious or political ideology.  None.

The topic:  Ideological addictions - opinions formed early, and kept going regardless of later information. What are the ideological addictions, if any, of candidates.  Can a candidate take new information and modify an earlier view.

Accurately identifying a candidate's ideological ties and adaptability to new circumstances is vital to a democracy.  Are we getting what we see, what is revealed only; and do other ideological commitments really control regardless of words.  This came up with Hillary Clinton and "the family". See ://www.alternet.org/election08/80248/. If there are such connections to a fundamentalism,  if corroborated that is important.

Privatization.  When should government do a job, with its supposed goal of public service.  When should private interests do a job, despite the clear private goal of profits and bottom line and shareholders. Do we need non-profit private groups to do governmental jobs.

1. Privatization.  
Opportunities for Abuse. 
Significant Matters of Degree, Motivation.

1.1  State Department and Passports Privatized already.

Passports soon out in the open, more than if they had been kept Governmental?

The State Department has privatized Passport processing work, again 3/22/08. Could this job be dealt with better, with accountability, by public servants. The State Department apparently is paying more for the privatization than the public servants would cost. And the opportunity for corruption,  with lobby-determined companies accessing information, or career public servants who know they lose their pensions if they mess up.

Right to Privacy. Up for sale. Then again, government matters also get leaked, but it is still easier to hack into the private area, is that so?  Look at the invasion of Barack Obama's passport records. Meet the Passport Circus, with all candidates invaded by clowns (worse?).

1.2. Explore:  Cut off funding so road development, maintenance, are paid by motorist fees

DOT in the Overt News.
Should we privatize transportation accessories, like roads.We hear:  use tolls for roads, not tax dollars. Lease highways out to private maintenance.  Do we really want to lease their upkeep to private moguls.Who would speak for the donkeys on the roads; the donkeys without cars, who rely on bus, train, subway.

Wild donkeys, the High Road, Highlands, Scotland

If tolls paid by motorists and not tax dollars maintain roads, guess whose neighborhood will breed the potholes 10 feet deep.

How to get here? Partisan Appointees.

In 2008, the Bush Administration appointed a number of people to craft and study policy.  Crafters of this policy are appointees, not elected folk. Is this Political Abuse by Appointee? When do Appointees become an administration's Weapon -  accomplish a legislative end by Appointee Slant, not merit.

1.3  Explore: Cut off tax funding so schools must be paid for by parent fees

Fees paid by parents, not tax dollars, should be used to construct and maintain schools.  How to entrench educational inequity, prevent access to tools for success, in one easy lesson.

1.4  Explore: Cut off funding for medical research so disease research is paid for by patient fees

Percentages of income from cancer patients, not tax dollars, should be used to research and treat cancer. Rich man's gout -- cured! 

2.  Gospel of Privatization; the Addiction of Privatization
Compare some modern religious behaviors with clinical addiction research

(God wants you to be rich; to keep your grabbings for yourself) 

Find matchy-matchy political ideology
Next:  Privatizers Anonymous

No matter that our families had 250 years to accumulate wealth, pass it on; while we enslaved others; or they were born into circumstances or places of some other such economic handicap so that our control over them benefited us, and we reaped it in. Skip that.

a.  How many advocates of Privatization are also religious conservatives without the usual religious "care for your neighbor".  Give two coats. Somebody find out.
  • Look at political-ideology as a religious fervor. Privatization has a sense of mission about it.  Bring on the psychiatrists, psychologists and issues of what makes "grandiose behavior," "rigid, judgmental outlook" and compare to religious persuasion:  nothing but market and the wealth it produces for the marketers themselves shall be worshiped.
  • "Irrational rationalization." What other than an irrational rationalization can be behind fabulous and expanding buffets for the rich. That concept is part of the addiction field.  A clinical matter. Do look up the 2002 article at ://www.counterpunch.org/wormer1011.html and see if anything, by that particular measure, has changed. Katherine van Wormer, author, could you do an update? Thanks. Same clinical list at ://www.kenpeterscenter.com/dry.htm. An expanded discussion of each term is at ://addictionrecoverybasics.com/2007/03/24/what-is-a-dry-drunk/.
b.  How many adherents to any absolute code, unyielding, are addicted, show the same behaviors as those addicted to physical drugs.  The mental drug of addiction in the form of political or religious ideology.
  • Addiction issues - read the addiction statistics in American families, homes, towns, see the NIDA on this at ://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofacts/Infofaxindex.html. Private agencies offer summaries - check them out at ://www.coachinginternational.com/stats.html. Addiction also in high places.
  • Privatization policy gone amok. Just think of the Privatization Addiction. Next comes Privatizers Anonymous. In what ways is that true, not true. Your analysis is as good as anyone else's.

c. We think any idea can become an addiction. So it behooves to watch out for the signs. Addiction fervors. Addiction fevers.

Signpost for Choices: Cetinje, Monastery, Montenegro. This way to the Uffizi, the Vatican, the Louvre



















  • The danger of Enabling. The more a problem is ignored or helped along, the worse, is that so?   Addiction to a policy ground can be, and here looks like it is, as a substitute for thinking something through with a country's larger founding goals - the general welfare - in view. Anything for peace and quiet, keep the addicted ones still.  Just do what they want.
  • Look for the addicted one justifying the addiction, and substituting another for the first one. I was "meant" to do this! I am saved.  I was saved from Addiction 1, so I could engage in Addiction 2. Ideological addiction.

d.  Look for the methodology of those wanting to instill an addiction in others.

How to persuade, without people realizing they are being manipulated? See the Grand List at Hello, Fodder: Propaganda Signals. Scroll down to "card-stacking."

Stack the deck in your favor, as to the Deciders. Get your people on the courts, ideological bases. Pack the gang of implementers and Deciders (have you read, "The Appeal," by John Grisham, Random House 2008, at ://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385515047?).

Bam. You win. Privatizing the judicial process. Privatize by installing partisan appointees.

Privatize passport processing.  Privatize transportation.  Privatize education. Privatize medical research. Privatize.  That's why the Good Lord made your eyes. What is the difference between a physical addiction, and a mental one.  None.  Physical addiction same as a mental addiction. Privatizers Anonymous.  Form a group. Join a group.  You know if you are one.  If you don't know, others do. Choose to reclaim. Your head. Ideology addiction same as physical addiction.

WikiDC. A quick look at Washington. Is that what is happening?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Propaganda Technique. Swiftboat Effect. Selective Distortion

The Swiftboat Effect
Propaganda Tactic: Literalism
Swiftboating to Elections

Propaganda Technique. Here, The Swiftboat Effect.

The Swiftboat Effect is the distortion of one idea and its propagation until it "Takes." See full list of propaganda techniques at Hello, Fodder, Propaganda Techniques. Distort an intended meaning by isolating a portion, and presenting it literally. Again and again.

Swiftboat. v.t. To take one idea, out of context, with few supporting facts other than the one targeted, distort those found, and concoct vast derogatory conclusions from then, and push them until somebody believes.

A person can be Swiftboated any time his words are pretzeled into something else as to meaning, out of context, and thus spun to the speaker's detriment, and to the advantage of a detractor. See Swiftboat at www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Swift_Boat_Veterans_for_Truth.

1. Campaign examples -- Swiftboating and its Effectiveness

a. Reverend Wright., former pastor to Barack Obama.  Hyperbole.


Comments:  America was founded on racism, we kill innocent people and the responsibility for that is on all of us. Are those factually untrue?  Can a belief in shared responsibility be unpatriotic?  The pejoratives are in a rhetorical context, a "hyperbole" for English Lit fans, meaning that a speaker for effect may well use exaggerations to wake us up. Look up figures of speech at ://www.nipissingu.ca/faculty/williams/figofspe.htm so you can spot them, and defend against the propagandists who - ha - stoop to anything. See persuasion techniques at Joy of Equivocating, Persuasion Arsenal.

Be careful of sermon, or other portions of larger wholes, taken out of context, out of the rhetorical figure of speech world in which they were made,. They can be dug up and used as a weapon against the speaker by literalists who see an opportunity to bring him down for political reasons. See Joy of Equivocating, Swiftboat by Literalism.

b. Samantha Power - advisor to Barack Obama.  Hyperbole, metaphor. Her hapless metaphor about Hillary Clinton being a monster was touted literally, and repeated, and repeated. More hyperbole used by others as a weapon, as though we all can't tell the difference between a figure of speech, and Fact Monster.  Or can we?  If we can't, get that funding back into education. We show our own ridiculous ignorance. 

2. Why does Swiftboating work so well.

a. It is immediate in its effect. Swiftboating and literalism do bring about a response. The point is made before the hearer can think about it. Hyperbole gets attention. Pharisees, you den of vipers. That lead to violence.

b. It lasts. Rhetoric, hyperbole, exaggerations for effect, comparisons, these are all very old techniques for getting points across.

Go back to Aristotle's Rhetoric - review this classical studies area - how to persuade - //www.public.iastate.edu/~honeyl/Rhetoric/oneindex.html. See the overview at ://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-rhetoric/.

And this was "2300 years ago" see ://stevefournier01.tripod.com/hist/hist-2.html.

3. What can a hearer do.

Stop. If you can catch yourself before you have reacted, you are on the way to defense.
Instead of responding with a judgment of agreement, or horror, ask what is conveyed by the exaggeration technique:

In what ways were Rev. White's statements correct? Are there parts (;lots?) of American History that should be trashed. In what ways is Samantha Power on target here? Maybe in some positions, the power and drive of a "monster" can be harnessed.

That is what figures of speech are for - to get the dialogue and examination going. It takes a lot to get people out of their chairs, and hyperbole, an exaggeration, may wake somebody up. Get thinking.

Summary: Rhetoric is to get people to wake up and examine something they might not want to see in an unflattering new way, and persuade them to change.

It is a technique.

4.  Use the Musical Reminder
Think of the technique in musical terms. Remember it as in Haydn's Surprise Symphony.

Dut dut dut dut
Dut dut dut.

Dut dut dut dut
Dut dut dut.

Dut dut dut dut dut dut dut.
Dut dut dut dut dut ...

BOOM  [that's the hyperbole]

Ta-dutdutdut....etc.

Haydn: musical hyperbole?  It sneaks up on you.  Hyperbole is fine when it just makes you take notice of an underlying condition that has elements of accuracy overall, just exaggerated here.  It is not fine when it is unrooted. Can Samantha think that an opponent of her candidate at a particular time is hard to beat, like a monster is hard to beat?  Sure. Hillary had similar unflatterings about Barack Obama.

5. How to help our kids defend.

Why we need better schools.
As a defense to propagandists turning something people know little about, or are kept from learning, into their own weapon. Not recognizing hyperbole, the exaggeration of a speaker while a larger point, is a sign of our educational ignorance, not analytical ability. We just need the tools and education to fight back.

Look up hyperbole. Teach yourself and your children so you can defend against propaganda. See the Propaganda Techniques site above.

Not to be confused with Swiftboat by Literalism when someone has commented by metaphor, as did Samantha Power? See Joy of Equivocating, Swiftboating by Literalism.

They are similar in that a) a speaker used a figure of speech that may well have some or a lot or little truth in it; and to make a point; but b) a literalist grabbed it and distorted it out of context, morphing a traditional figure of speech into a weapon. But they are different figures of speech. Swiftboat by hyperbole-twisting, and Swiftboat by metaphor-twisting.  Education counters propaganda.

Propaganda works when people's information (education?) is kept limited, as now. Education to counter propaganda.  Needed. Now. Wireless access across the country, a computer in every home, factcheck, access to tools of education, mobility, skills, then Swiftboating will sink -- perhaps.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Exploring Nail Guns - The Unintended Second Fire. Contact Trip Winners and Losers

Read John Grisham's book, "The Appeal." See ://www.randomhouse.com/features/grisham/main.php. Follow a tale of getting your due - will you or won't you. Will you ever receive what was deemed fair and appropriate, if you are injured on the job. Say you get a decent award, but will it all get used up or never arrive - it can happen. Or others get it, take it. Possible. Have to consider the possibility. What recourse do regular people have if industry does not move beyond profit to responsibility, when that can be done while still getting a decent profit. Do corporations ever move against financial interest, for a common good? Hooha.
.........................................................

Drafted in March 2008, posted August 2008. Idea still rankles.

Nail guns.
Or, as the industry calls them, fastener systems.

The industry shies from the lethal weapon connotation of nail "guns."

Who and what really gets hit, and are we reasonably seeking better safety while meeting industry's needs.

We call them "guns" here, because they are. The look like a gun, they operate like a gun, they can hit a target like a gun, they have barrel, trigger, handle hold, firing mechanism, missile projectory, and the ultimate nailing of someone or something.

Gun Logo, Facade, Colt Factory, Hartford, CT

1. The unintended second fire. Our interest here is in one of several types of nail guns, the kind that that fire automatically when two things happen at the same time, resulting in an unintentional second fire:

An unintended second fire can happen when the gun is a bump-fire type - any time the trigger is depressed, a bump of the nozzle of sufficient push will cause a firing. Example:

a) the user is still holding back the trigger after firing a first nail, but then slips or loses balance and the trigger finger is still depressed when

b) the barrel pushes against something -- the bump - and an unintended nail goes off.

Let's say the user tightened his grip on the gun when he felt himself falling, say at lunch walking around with his finger hovering around the trigger, and he stumbles. His hand tightens so he won't drop the gun, the nozzle bumps and somebody gets nailed, or some thing.

Before recent improvements, a user who used the gun to go through thin metal may get a bounceback, or if he missed the hole in the thin metal. He could hit another nail already in there. Sometimes a "double fire" or "ricochet" or "recoil" can result. The nozzle then can hit something, or someone, on the recoil or other accidental hit.

Or the user just goes too fast and messes up - bad aim, so the nail goes between the deck slats and hits a coworker below. Or some other fault on the user's part.

Either way, he (She? Sure) pushes the nozzle against something. A nozzle on recoil can even hit the user's own face or some other body part; or a wall or board -- or other unintended target far away because the nail went flying, just like a bullet. In this combination,

c) The firing then happens automatically.

Lots of scenarios. Lots of litigation: see, as one example site of many sites for the overview of cases: //www.civilrights.com/NailGunLitigation.php

2. Warnings. Always an issue where products can injure, whether by ingestion or like a weapon.

Is it enough that some manual, or brochure, has pictures and narrative about being careful, and showing that bodily injury can occur.

Then we ask: if the contractor bought the tool, and holds on to the materials and passes out the gun, should the user have known anyway and taken responsibility for all consequences of his use.

Let's say the user is an experienced carpenter, would that carpenter have taken the time to read even if the pamphlet were on the table when he picked up the tool?

What if the user is literate only through lower grades, and that was decades ago. What foreseeable issues should he still be responsible for. If any. If issues are foreseeable, why not ask the manufacturer to solve the problem, if feasible.

Narrow the issues there:

Why can't we design a nail gun that has a safety backup, like on our little home meat slicer, also a dangerous weapon.

My meat slicer has two buttons on top - one for the electricity; and another for the wheel blade to go. Takes two fingers of the left hand to do all that - one holds down the electricity, the other holds down for the blade action. Release either, and the blade stops. The right hand guides the roast.

Design the grip so that the thumb holds down a button that arms it, and the trigger finger holds the trigger, and both have to be engaged for the gun to fire. That way, a change in grip - to hold on to the thing if you lose your balance, for example - disarms the gun.

This is not the same as requiring a whole change in operating system. It just adds the safety button.

Unintended firings.

Foreseeable misuse, where the penalty on the user is so great that surely the manufacturer should have addressed the issue.

But what if the industry does not want even a split second to be sacrificed for "safety." What if a gun with safety features is not macho. Nobody wants to use one and be a wuss.

Then limit its use for below-waist applications where accidents from recoils, or firing nail on nail may be minimized and kept away from the head; go ahead on dry wall, or decking - so long as no other worker is beneath. Look at our lousy deck - big nail there that missed the board and is sticking out beneath, between slats.

If you are injured, or injure yourself, how will you fare. Will you get lost.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Counter the Propaganda of Text Misrepresentation. Samantha Power Example.

Educate and Verify:  
Stop the Swiftboats.
Stop the Media Amputation of Full Comments.

Samantha Power

Entertainment Value Rises, but Information Level Falls, When Only A Piece of a Whole is Offered.


1. Swiftboat by Text Reduction. 

Samantha Power:  Hilary Clinton as a monster.  Now a great favorite in the media hunt for excitement.  How could she say that?

Easily.  Likening a public figure to a monster, or Hitler, or living in la-la land, is a figure of speech to those with the advantage of an education in rhetoric.  Rhetoric and figures of speech include the metaphor (my love is a rose), or analogy (my love is like a roses). 

Sometimes, clarification follows, sometimes the intent is left open, for the hearer to decide. 

A metaphor, an analogy is an invitation to analyze -- yet it is turned into a platform for a hunt, aimed at those without the benefits of basic liberal arts education. A simple figure of speech becomes a weapon. Take one phrase and beat it in isolation, away from any explanation that might have followed, and the speaker is media-doomed.

Before accepting a media account of what was said, look back to the texts, in other posts. Read the part of the transcript, and discussions at
Note that Samantha Power did not let the metaphor of the monster.  She went on to explain the precise quality that brought it to her mind: Samantha Power laid out the common factor between the use of a term and what is meant.  To Samantha Power, as she herself expressed, a monster is someone who is stooping to anything.
The explanation is wise, when it is noted.  The discussion can move on to evaluate whether or not this is a plausible definition of monster; and if so, is the candidate in question indeed stooping to anything; or is all that fair game? Under what rules? What is the candidate doing?

Metaphoe.  That language usage is a Metaphor - not to be taken literally, as pointed out in the Political Ecosystem sites above. For a refresher on "metaphor," see http://www.owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_metaphor.html.

It leads the reader or hearer to think - "In what way is this true, for the speaker, and even me?"

The point here is to show that people with an adequate English Literature background know that there are figures of speech and this is one. Metaphor is one of many. The point is not to flaunt an education, but to show why everyone needs a good one.

We need more education funding, in broader areas, not less.  Voters absolutely need to be able to counter the propaganda of the airwaaves. The ability to counter a threat, an invader, is crucial to survival. In years past, people lost their lives because they could not counter the destruction around them. Think of The Plague, or the Thirty Years' War, as here at Kudowa Zdroj, Poland. The people could avoid little of that, once started. They had no way to get out of the way of the destruction around them.


Kudowa Zdroj, Poland, Chapel of the Skulls

We have choices, however. We can get out of the way of the kinds of destruction caused by propaganda, if we are allowed to learn the techniques; and do.

Only by knowing and spotting the techniques can someone defend.  And the first defense is figuring out what is propaganda, and what is merit.

Persuasion. It cares not a whit for merit.  But people, the targets, have to.

Propaganda - Some people telling other people what to think, by selective information; and salesmanship.  Withholding the information the real deciders need to analyze and make independent decisions in their own interest, and the nation's.  The propagandist:  those who tout the distorted information, the Propaganda, freely: without resistance.  We are so used to that in the marketplace of commodities, that we accept it in the marketplace of politics, to our peril, is that so.

Look at the lack of will, and the lack of tools of education, to control propaganda. What decisions are being made, because we let the Deciders persuade us without accountability, or their providing reliable and complete background information.


2. Radio Opinion Shows - Propaganda on beating the system. 

The Houston Chronicle had an op-ed regarding people doing what a talk-show host told them to do.  Go vote as a trick, as a way of skewing a candidate's chances among those who support the candidate. Legal, because people have rights to vote, but does it serve the larger societal need: for people to be represented. And why do people take political advice without independent vetting as to motive, who really benefits. The propagandist: spot the self-interest before buying what is being sold. - See  http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/5589381.html

If those people had a basic education on how democracy works, and the founding principles of checks and balances in this country, it is hard to believe they would follow some bombast instead of their own good sense. Ignorance opens doors to propaganda - distorted information, and vulnerability to persuasion tactics.


3.  Funding restrictions and other ways to prevent education

The propagandists, who want people to fly off the handle at hearing a mere metaphor, do not want people to be educated.

They know that, chances are, educated people would not fly off the handle, unless flying off is a calculated response to get something else. The propagandist purpose would lose because an educated response of people with a solid background in English lit would be, get off it. You know better than that and so do we.

Discussion, full facts, can stop rumor in its tracks.

The propaganda creature can be stopped.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Media: Corporate Conduit for Free Political Ads - Violates Federal Campaign Financing laws? FEC?

Candidate Promotions. The nature of freebies in getting around a law.The media as conduit for a political viewpoint - McCain - Feingold turned on its ear, again . When is a gift not a gift. Topic: Media. Airing repeatedly entire political advertising events, for free. This is not reporting on the advertising, or showing a frame or two. It is the enchilada. See companion post, FEC alert, when this issue continued: Joy of Equivocating: Media Free Ad Airings, FEC.

Corporations and their power, corporate privilege, ability to sneak, is in issue: see Hello, Fodder: Corporate Social Role.

And the ability of corporations still to slide under the radar in influencing election outcomes.

Does a corporation, owner of media that is reproducing entire advertising events for free, violate McCain-Feingold and any other Campaign Finance Laws, so that the media acts as conduit for the views represented. Providing free airings - like soft money? Here is the setting:

Alerts are on the radar. The phone has rung at least 6 times and it is 3 AM.

Nobody is even answering the phone, for crying out loud, as Chris Matthews, a TV pundit, pointed out generally recently.

He can joke about how many times the phone rings because we have seen this thing a million times already.

And all we did was turn on the TV for some news loops and we get instead repeated full commercials over and over.

How much of that free advertising did the candidate or his or her surrogate pay for? Does that make a difference.

Yes. Reproducing an entire commercial, or most of it, and airing it - especially repeatedly - becomes a contribution to the campaign of the candidate on whose behalf the commercial was produced and aired. A gift.

This concept applies to any campaign, multiple campaigns. Each time a commercial is reproduced. Each time the media substantially reproducing such commercial, such that a viewer does not need to see the commercial in order to be impacted by it, the media financially and in terms of message contributes to the campaign. It is not reporting, it is serving as a conduit for the campaign.

Value of the gift. The value of the gift from the corporate broadcaster is the cost that the campaign or other third party on behalf of a candidate's position would have had to pay for air time. For airing the entire commercial.

That value is a gift from the corporation to the candidate or surrogate - free ad time to get the candidate's message across.

Do repeated airings make a difference. Sure. Ads affect people's brains - that's why they are such big business. Repeated airings make it less happenstance that a viewer will see it. Add up the freebie represented by each airing.

Media giving free air time to commercials, all this is propaganda. Stacking the deck. Giving free time that the candidate did not or could not pay for. See Hello, Fodder: Propaganda as Stacking the Deck.

Not all bad. Where stacking the deck with multiple showings of free ads serves to keep a tie going, it has its good side: A tie prevents the other team from focusing its catapults on one castle or the other.

Spis Castle, Slovakia

But good in result or bad in result is not the point.

Free ads are a corporate gift and should be treated like gift. The sneak to gain advantage is a longstanding human tradition,* but that does not mean a free pass where there are laws against it. Sneaking in direct advocacy by free air time for commercials violates. See McCain-Feingold.

Violations of Federal Campaign Finance Laws? McCain Feingold? See http://www.nationalcenter.org/McCainFeingold.htmll abd the FEC, Federal Election Commission at ://www.fec.gov/. Lawyers out there? Rise above the skidmarks, Check this issue out for all voters.

Fear the media, especially when giving gifts.* As with Troy, and its Trojan Horse, what corporate policy is behind the gifts. Whose political agenda is being served.

See, for reasonable clarifications on what may or may not be aired as part of other reporting, the Plank at PoseJuxta: Media Repeating Commercial as Campaign Contribution. Media can summarize or otherwise report on the commercial, but not reproduce it beyond a single visual frame, or audio-visual extending more than five seconds, or as may be otherwise deemed reasonable for news purposes. Sanctions for violating the campaign contributions laws in this regard shall be retroactive to the first such airing.

The goal: media nonproliferation of political commercial advertising activities, providing gifts to the campaigns. No more media conduits for paid commercial activities. Apply campaign contribution laws, retroactively because this is not a new concept here - suspend and revoke licenses.

Many facets at work here. FCC? See what a single corporate owner can do on the airwaves, with free commercial airings? Are you awake, FCC? McCain-Feingold? FEC? For whom do you wake?

Media, you now are in the business of offering free commercials, instead of reporting about them. Your selectivity on which to show and how often in repeated news loops has the effect of promoting your political viewpoint, to the detriment of voter informed consent.

Theft of consent. By unauthorized free commercial flooding. See Hello, Fodder: Theft of Consent.
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*Sneaking things in for your own side is a long-standing military tradition. Look at the Trojan Horse.

Go back to Virgil's Aeneid: "Timeo danaos et dona ferentis," or "Fear the Greeks, even when bearing gifts." See ://www.novelguide.com/TheAeneid/toptenquotes.html. Trojan War. That reference reflects the hesitation of wise Trojans (Laocoon and Cassandra, see ://www.stanford.edu/~plomio/history.html, upon seeing the great wooden horse that the Greeks left outside the Troy city walls as a "gift." Other Trojans wanted to haul it into the city through open gates. But inside were silent and armed Greek soldiers, waiting for nightfall so they could slip out and conquer the city.

Modern application: Go ahead, TV viewers. This is like you.

Invite in a news show. Settle back, with a reasonable expectation of information, with degrees of partisan mania depending on the channel. Suddenly, you get political ads during the news time, taking up news time, replayed again and again while the talking head nods, and other news goes by unseen.

A nice Trojan Horse, that TV.

End up getting quadruple the commercial exposure for a particular candidate, when the candidate himself or herself only paid for one. The media likes it because it doesn't have to think up its own reporting. Like a teacher resorting to a four films on a rainy day.