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General News    H4'ed 1/11/20

How To Avoid Swallowing War Propaganda ; cutting through lies and euphemisms to see things as they really are

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 Yesterday, I posted my essay 'Words Matter!'  Today, comes this warning to ensure that 'we do not accidentally end up repeating the kinds of talking points that make war more likely!' To resist the absolute barrage of misinformation-- to hear ourselves think over the pounding war drums, it is vital to watch out for  Euphemistic language!  Our access to much of the world is through language alone. We see a tiny sliver of the world with our own eyes, the rest of it has to be described in words or shown to us through images. That means it’s very easy to manipulate our perceptions. If the flow of information is controlled, it is possible to alter someone’s understanding of the things that they can’t see firsthand. We must listen carefully & Scrutinize the Arguments: There will be plenty of attempts to distract us with irrelevant issues.' Don't miss this wonderful article.

Read the rest of the story HERE:

At www.currentaffairs.org

 

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Susan Lee Schwartz Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)
 

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3 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments  Post Comment


Susan Lee Schwartz

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The author, Nathan J. Robinsonsays this: " I do not mean to treat you as stupid by making such a basic point, but plenty of journalists and opposition party politicians do not understand this point's implications, so it needs to be said over and over. What happens in the lead-up to war is that government officials make claims about the enemy, and then those claims appear in newspapers ("U.S. officials saySaddam poses an imminent threat") and then in the public consciousness, the "U.S. officials say" part disappears, so that the claim is taken for reality without ever really being scrutinized.

"This happens because MSM and newspapers are incredibly irresponsible and believe that so long as you attach "Experts say" or "President says" to a claim, you are off the hook when people end up believing it, because all you did was relay the fact that a person said a thing, you didn't say it was true."

So, "do not be bullied into accepting simple-minded sloganeering andKeep the focus on what matters. There will be plenty of attempts to distract you with irrelevant issues. We will spend more time talking about whether Trump followed the right process for war, whether he handled the rollout correctly, and less about whether the underlying action itself is correct.

For example: Here are 3 POVs that try to define the debate for you. Read Robinson's rational for taking apart distractions

* "The main question about the strike isn't moral or even legalit's strategic." The Atlantic

* "The real question to ask about the American drone attack that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was not whether it was justified, but whether it was wise"
The New York Times

* "I think that the question that we ought to focus on is why now? Why not a month ago and why not a month from now?" Elizabeth Warren

Robinson warns: "Remember what people were saying five minutes ago!" During the buildup to a war there is a constant effort to make you forget what things were like a few minutes ago. Five minutes ago, hardly anybody was talking about Suleimani. Now they all speak as if he was Public Enemy #1. Remember how much you hated that guy? Remember how much damage he did? No, I do not remember, because people like Ben Shapiro only just discovered their hatred for Suleimani once they had to justify his murder."

"They are going to try to convince you that you are insane for asking questions, or for not accepting what the government tells you.

"They will put you in topsy-turvy land, where thinking that assassinating foreign officials is "aggression" is not just wrong, but sheer madness.

"You will have to try your best to remember what things are, because it is not easy, when everyone says the emperor has clothes, or that Line A is longer than Line B, or that shocking people to death is fine, to have confidence in your independent judgment."

Yeah. And I say... Words DO matter! So does thinking hard about what you are being asked to believe is true.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 2:37:32 AM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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Has anyone read "1984?" In the protagonist's (Winston Smith) apartment, is a telescreenwhich is always on, spouting propaganda, and through which the Thought Police are known to monitor the actions of citizens.

Come on folks. This is the reality now...except that screen is in everyone's pocket... and in front of their faces all day!

AND remember The party's slogan?

"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

OMG-- here is the technique of using false history to break down the psychological independence of its subjects. "Fake News!"

Control of the past ensures control of the future, because the past can be treated essentially as a set of conditions that justify or encourage future goals.

WOW. Sounds like a version of the past that Pompeo just told the world.

The Party has complete political power in the present, enabling it to control the way in which its subjects think about and interpret the past:

*every history book reflects Party ideology. (sounds like the Koch Brothers control of the curriculum in North Carolina. or the Gates Common Core curricula forced on teachers across the 15,880 separate school systems... to get everyone on the same page.

* Individuals in Oceana, are forbidden from keeping mementos of their own pasts, such as photographs and documents.

"I don't know about you, but if I didn't keep notes and records I would remember very little.

IN fact, the citizens of Oceania have a very short, confused memory, and are willing to believe anything that the Party tells them.

Isn't this what we see at the Trump rallies and among his 'base' of very 'fine people.'

In the second appearance of this quote, ("Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.") Winston is told that the past has no concrete existence and that it is real only in the minds of human beings. Thus he is essentially arguing that because the Party's version of the past is what people believe, that past -- though it has no basis in real events-- has become the truth.

Sounds like a Trumpian idea.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 3:46:51 AM

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Lance Ciepiela

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Yes, indeed, words really 'do matter', and even 'a sentence' can 'set the course for a new 21st Century - the endless wars, endless debt and the endless global war on terror (#ImpulsiveBill - the American People somehow became 'suspected of wrongdoing' by the president and congress after 9/11). "The people who knocked these buildings down will hear from all of us soon", W Bush vowed 'revenge' after 9/11 without investigating who and what caused all the 'explosions' at the World Trade Center and Pentagon on 9/11 - he 'preemptively' attacks and destroys Iraq which was not responsible for any of the 'explosions' at the World Trade Center and Pentagon on 9/11. An investigation would have quickly revealed revealed there were no 'nineteen hijackers' from anywhere in the world who could have come to New York City at exactly 5:20 PM on 9/11 to 'pull down' Building 7 in 6.5 seconds - that had to be 'someone with access' to all three towers and the Pentagon who 'knew how to do' it so 'perfectly'. #PrePlantedExplosives #GrandJuryInvestigation.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 10:34:20 PM

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Mohammad Ala

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THANKS Susan Lee Schwartz.

Thanks for sharing. Good sound advise that unfortunately in these modern times of sound bites, and memes is not followed by the majority of short memory span public.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 12, 2020 at 4:24:11 AM

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