Showing posts with label propaganda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label propaganda. Show all posts

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Joe Conason — Americans' Faulty Memory: Polls Show Majority Like GOP's Discredited War Policies

If the latest polls are accurate, most voters believe that Republican politicians deserve greater trust on matters of national security. At a moment when Americans feel threatened by rising terrorist movements and authoritarian regimes, that finding is politically salient -- and proves that amnesia is the most durable affliction of our democracy.
Stumbling toward war in Dumbfuckistan.

Americans' Faulty Memory: Polls Show Majority Like GOP's Discredited War Policies
Joe Conason

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Robert Parry — Who’s Telling the ‘Big Lie’ on Ukraine?

Official Washington draws the Ukraine crisis in black-and-white colors with Russian President Putin the bad guy and the U.S.-backed leaders in Kiev the good guys. But the reality is much more nuanced, with the American people consistently misled on key facts, writes Robert Parry. 
Fact: Beliefs trump facts.Whoever controls the narrative ("spin") controls belief.
If you wonder how the world could stumble into World War III – much as it did into World War I a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness that has enveloped virtually the entire US political/media structure over Ukraine where a false narrative of white hats vs. black hats took hold early and has proved impervious to facts or reason.
The original lie behind Official Washington’s latest “group think” was that Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated the crisis in Ukraine as part of some diabolical scheme to reclaim the territory of the defunct Soviet Union, including Estonia and other Baltic states. Though not a shred of U.S. intelligence supported this scenario, all the “smart people” of Washington just “knew” it to be true.
Yet, the once-acknowledged – though soon forgotten – reality was that the crisis was provoked last year by the European Union proposing an association agreement with Ukraine while U.S. neocons and other hawkish politicos and pundits envisioned using the Ukraine gambit as a way to undermine Putin inside Russia.
The plan was even announced by U.S. neocons such as National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman who took to the op-ed page of the Washington Post nearly a year ago to call Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an important interim step toward eventually toppling Putin in Russia.…
Consortium News
Who’s Telling the ‘Big Lie’ on Ukraine?
Robert Parry

Friday, August 29, 2014

‘Hollywood techniques used to create pretext for war between Ukraine and Russia’ — RT interviews Daniel Schechter

It is very suspicious there are no facts or proof of the activities Russia is blamed for in Ukraine, areas that are subjected to a high level of surveillance by satellites and all kinds of technology, author and media analyst Daniel Schechter told RT.
‘Hollywood techniques used to create pretext for war between Ukraine and Russia’
RT interviews Daniel Schechter

Lee Fang — Charles Koch Personally Founded Group Protecting Oil Industry Hand-Outs, Documents Reveal

‘Lifestyles of the Rich Environmentalists,’ produced by a group called the Institute for Energy Research, is a slick web video campaign designed to lampoon Leonardo Dicaprio and as hypocrites for supporting action on climate change. The claim is that wealthy celebrities who oppose industrial-scale pollution supposedly shouldn’t fly in airplanes that use fossil fuels. The group, along with its subsidiary, the American Energy Alliance, churns out a steady stream of related content, from Facebook memes criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency, to commercials demanding approval of new oil projects like the Keystone XL, to a series of television campaign advertisements this year attacking Democratic candidates in West Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Alaska. On Capitol Hill, IER aggressively opposes any effort to repeal tax breaks afforded to the oil and gas industry.
Documents obtained by Republic Report reveal for the first time that the group was actually founded by none other than Charles Koch, the petrochemical, manufacturing, and oil refining tycoon…
Republic Report
Charles Koch Personally Founded Group Protecting Oil Industry Hand-Outs, Documents Reveal
Lee Fang

Dmitry Orlov — Propaganda and the lack thereof

With regard to the goings-on in Ukraine, I have heard quite a few European and American voices piping in, saying that, yes, Washington and Kiev are fabricating an entirely fictional version of events for propaganda purposes, but then so are the Russians. They appear to assume that if their corporate media is infested with mendacious, incompetent buffoons who are only too happy to repeat the party line, then the Russians must be same or worse.
The reality is quite different. While there is a virtual news blackout with regard to Ukraine in the West, with little being shown beyond pictures of talking heads in Washington and Kiev, the media coverage in Russia is relentless, with daily bulletins describing troop movements, up-to-date maps of the conflict zones, and lots of eye-witness testimony, commentary and analysis. There is also a lively rumor mill on Russian and international social networks, which I tend to disregard because it's mostly just that: rumor. In this environment, those who would attempt to fabricate a fictional narrative, as the officials in Washington and Kiev attempt to do, do not survive very long.
There is a great deal to say on the subject, but here I want to limit myself to rectifying some really, really basic misconceptions that Washington has attempted to impose on you via its various corporate media mouthpieces.
Propaganda and the lack thereof
Dmitry Orlov

Monday, August 18, 2014

Robert Parry — The Powerful ‘Group Think’ on Ukraine

Groupthink or propaganda spin? After the Iraq dupe-the rubes PR campaign to manufacture war, the public and media fall for the same thing again." Is Paul Krugman the new Judy Miller?

Consortium News
The Powerful ‘Group Think’ on Ukraine
Robert Parry

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

George Monbiot — Sick of This Market Driven World? You Should Be

These days, being a deviant from the prevailing wisdom is something to be proud of....
So, if you don’t fit in, if you feel at odds with the world, if your identity is troubled and frayed, if you feel lost and ashamed – it could be because you have retained the human values you were supposed to have discarded. You are a deviant. Be proud.
The Guardian

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Leo Kolivakis — On the Brink of Another World War?

The fact that we are asking this question is worrisome, and actions of supposedly responsible people in the West rushing to judgment is a bad sign of hubris.

Might be premature to project WWIII, but "the situation is fluid." Western grandstanding could backfire. Fortunately, Vladimir Putin is remaining cool —so far. But if he is driven into a corner, he will react. Washington is pretty sure of this and the neocons are fixed on driving him into a corner. Will President Obama be stupid enough to get sucked into this? Let's hope not.

Best not to go around poking bears in the eye.

Pension Plus
On the Brink of Another World War?
Leo Kolivakis

Shortly after we first reported about the MH-17 tragedy, we said that the key variable would be proving who the shooter was, as the grand fingerpointing theater was about to begin. We also noted that the actual answer to "who did it" was irrelevant, for the great propaganda machine had already made up its mind and was on overdrive. It promptly led to such ridiculous comments from non other than the Pentagon which said that, on one hand: 

 and yet:
So, "we don't know who did it" as long as Putin did it.…
As expected, the narrative that the jet was shot down over Ukraine by Putin promptly became the go to version of the western media, and in the absence of actual facts, the appeal to emotions took over and quickly hit a fever pitch. Below is a sampling of some UK newspaper front pages. Clearly, facts be damned, the media knows all already.
Once again the answer is simple: Western military intervention, this time in the conflict zone, under the guise of public anger against Putin, to reinforce the dwindling Ukraine army forces and to repel the separatists, in the process regaining the critical industrial regions of Ukraine which also are the location of vast natural gas deposits. Certainly showing to Gazprom just who was in charge of this key natural gas nexus wouldn't hurt either. After all the west has already invested so much in the current Ukraine government, it can't all be for nothing. 
And we know that because a few hours ago, the biggest Dutch newspaper, Telegraaf, openly asked for military intervention by NATO to protect MH 17 and calls Putin a "KGB liar."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Robert Parry — Airline Horror Spurs New Rush to Judgment

The propaganda is thick. And the political class is really obsessing over this. Different interests are desperately trying to shape the narrative.

Consortium News
Airline Horror Spurs New Rush to Judgment
Robert Parry

Meanwhile, Merkel, Putin agree on international probe into MH17 crash
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed for an international investigation into the downing of a Malaysian plane over Ukraine, and for rapid access to the crash site, Berlin said on Saturday.  
A Kremlin statement on the same phone call said that "both sides stressed the importance of a thorough and objective investigation of all circumstances relating to what has happened."
The two leaders, who spoke on the telephone, "agreed that an international, independent commission under the direction of ICAO (UN's International Civil Aviation Organization) should quickly have access to the site of the accident... to shed light on the circumstances of the crash and move the victims," said a German government statement.
Rushing to get out front with no evidence:
Following the shooting down of Malaysian flight MH17, Hillary Clinton has hit out at Russia saying "Putin has gone too far."
This woman is dangerous.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bill Black — Obama Consults a “Wide Variety of Economists” – Just Not Those Who Got it Right

In a PR effort that aptly illustrates his approach to governance, President Obama has revealed that he is meeting with a “wide variety of economists” to try to figure out what economic policies he should follow. “Obama Seeks Advice From Wide Variety of Economists.”
Obama is already well into the lame duck phase of his presidency, so this is simply a PR exercise. The message Obama wants to send is the same one he has sounded throughout his presidency. He is open to economic views from the parts of the political spectrum that range from the hard right to the mild left.

Obama is not open to hearing the economic views of anyone who got the crisis correct or anyone his advisors consider to the left of Paul Krugman (who is mildly left in economic terms). James Galbraith captured the first point brilliantly in an essay about a Krugman column. Krugman was making the correct point that conservative economists had gotten the crisis wrong and, in passing, mentioned less than a handful of economists he considered to have gotten it right. Galbraith stressed Krugman’s lack of interest in what economists got the crisis right and Krugman’s failure to list the economists who had actually gotten it right and had theoretical explanations for the causes of the crisis that had proved accurate in multiple crises.
New Economic Perspectives
Obama Consults a “Wide Variety of Economists” – Just Not Those Who Got it Right
William K. Black | Associate Professor of Economics and Law, UMKC

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Matt Bruenig — Kevin Hassett Misrepresents Piketty

AEI’s Kevin Hassett knew Piketty was wrong before he ever read him. There is no possible world in which Kevin Hassett did anything else but say Piketty was wrong. That’s fine, but what’s not fine is this shit: 
If you look at what’s been going on in his data, then the share of income going to capital in the United States has gone up over time. And what he does is he gives a theory for why that is going to continue. And eventually capital is going to have everything unless we have 80 percent tax rates and so on. 
As with Larry Summers, Justin Wolfers, and so many countless others, Hassett is just not accurately describing Piketty. Like those others, his confusions/misrepresentations are extraordinarily basic. 
Here are the errors:
AEI says it all.

MattBruenig | Politics
Kevin Hassett Misrepresents Piketty
Matt Bruenig

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ya Gotta Wonder What Real Scientists, In Other Disciplines, Think About The Subsidized Cult Called "Economics" - And Why They Put Up With It.

   (Commentary posted by Roger Erickson)

In case you ever thought that orthodox economics WASN'T an aristocratic fraud, read the critiques from June Carbone & Bill Black.

Classical economists make up propaganda, to defend aristocrats efforts to "manage" THEIR peasants? Pretty much. The whole field evolved out of the court politics of royalty? Again, pretty much.

This opening paragraph sums it up well.
'George Stigler celebrated Gary Becker as theoclassical economics’ schwerpunkt that led their blitzkrieg assault on other social sciences. Stigler proudly called economics the “Imperial” discipline. The idea that imperialism was a desirable trait is a typical example of Stigler’s blindness to history and human suffering. Stigler famously proclaimed that economics alone was actually a social “science” because only it had a theory of human motivation (maximizing self-interest). The Sveriges Riksbank Prize announcement in 1992 cited Becker’s imperialistic forays into the family, human “capital,” discrimination, and crime as the basis of their award.'

Whoa! Ya gotta wonder what real scientists, in other disciplines, think about the subsidized cult called "economics" - and why they put up with it. Plus, why isn't peasant common sense throwing off these constraints, and repudiating all the aristocratic illogic?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

VOX — Curriculum and ideology

Schooling changes are associated with ideological ones but it is difficult to claim a causal relationship. This column attempts to analyse the causal effect of curriculum changes in China on shaping preferences of students. The new curriculum moves one’s belief about democracy by about 25% of a standard deviation in the direction desired by the government. The findings suggest the state can use education to promote socially-useful beliefs and cultivate good citizenship....
The take-away.
Finally, it is worth considering the normative implications of our findings. While evidence of successful state brainwashing is frightening, our results also suggest that the state can use education as a force for the good, by promoting socially-useful beliefs. One hopes that, as Dewey and Lipset discussed decades ago, schooling will be used to cultivate good citizenship and sustain the working of a democratic state. Our findings suggest that it is within the power of education to achieve these aims.
We already knew that nurture is at least as important as nature and that the type of nurture people receive shapes them not only individually but in society. Here is evidence.

This feeds in to the contemporary discussion in economics about pluralism in economics education instead of brainwashing in neoliberalism.

Education is inherently ideological and value-laden; therefore constitutes propaganda. Instead of pretending that education is value-free, it is necessary to examine the values being inculcated.

Curriculum and ideology
  • Davide Cantoni. Chair of Economic History at the University of Munich,  
  • Yuyu Chen, Associate Professor of Applied Economics in the Guanghua School of Management, Peking University,
  • David Y. Yang. PhD student in economics, Stanford University, 
  • Noam Yuchtman, Assistant Professor, Haas School of Business, UC-Berkeley,
    Y. Jane Zhang, Assistant Professor in the Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
(h/t Mark Thoma at Economist's View)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ryan Grim — Thomas Piketty Explains Why It Took Until Now For An Economist To Expose The Flaw In Capitalism

Cold War self-censorship prevented mainstream economists from diagnosing adequately the fundamental flaw in capitalism, Thomas Piketty said in an interview with The Huffington Post. 
Piketty's best-selling book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, was recently translated from French to English and has upended the global discussion on capitalism and inequality. Piketty relies on the most expansive income and wealth datasets ever compiled to identify a striking trend over more than 200 years: returns on capital grow faster than the regular economy, meaning that without some policy intervention, the rich get richer, and richer, and richer.

Piketty said that he is unsure if he would have had the courage to write his book during the heat of the Cold War. "I don't know what I would have done. I'm lucky enough to belong to a generation, and maybe to the first generation, that didn't have to make that kind of choice, because the Soviet Union was gone," he said.

Piketty's dataset is an expansion of one put together by a leading 20th century economist, Simon Kuznets, famous for what's known as the Kuznets curve -- a chart suggesting that as capitalist economies reach a certain undefined stage of development, inequality begins falling after sharply rising. Yet the Kuznets curve was used for half a century to argue that capitalism has a natural tendency to reduce inequality in advanced economies, despite a lack of evidence.

"During the Cold War period, people really wanted to believe in the stories about inequality and capitalism," Piketty said. "For instance, Kuznets' evidence in the 1950s and 1960s ... he did not believe that the reduction in inequality that he found between 1910 to 1950 was a natural process. He was very well aware, if you read his book, that the World War, the Great Depression, and the policies that were implemented after these shocks -- progressive taxation and other policies -- played a very important role. But everybody wanted to believe in a sort of natural process that would naturally lead to a decline in inequality in advanced stages of development, because in the Cold War context the fight between capitalism and communism was so great."
 In other words, political propaganda.

The Huffington Post
Thomas Piketty Explains Why It Took Until Now For An Economist To Expose The Flaw In Capitalism
Ryan Grim

Friday, February 28, 2014

Amy Farber — Historical Echoes: Open a Kiddie Book and Read about Economic Principles, or Read it and Sleep

Sometimes, economists think that children’s books get things wrong. Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax,” about the destruction of a forest by a greedy industrialist, “assumes that there is no economic system in place,” [Indiana State University’s John] Conant said. In a modern capitalist economy, he said, the trees “would get very valuable as they got scarce, and the person with the property rights would harvest them at an economically reasonable rate.”
By and large, the economic lessons in children’s books lean left of center. “I think the writers are not particularly sympathetic to or don’t understand how a market works,” said Gary S. Becker, the Nobel laureate who teaches economics at the University of Chicago. “It’s not easy to convey that to a child. It’s not always easy to convey it to grown-ups.”
More neoliberal propaganda.  I guess Conant and Becker don't travel much and haven't seen vast tracts of clear cutting in the West, or mountain top removal in Appalachia, or polluted rivers, lakes and streams, or ...... Surprising that eminent economists have never heard of negative externality, also known as capitalize the upside and socialize the downside.

What a crock. It insults the intelligence.

FRBNY — Liberty Street Economics
Historical Echoes: Open a Kiddie Book and Read about Economic Principles, or Read it and Sleep
Amy Farber