Archive for Mind Games

Unraveling the meme with reality: Where is the real racial violence?

Colin Flaherty describes The Great Racial Hoax of Albany. An accusation about whites beating up blacks stimulated riots and demonstrations and other such public denunciation of racial violence. The problem is that the buses where the alleged incidents happened had cameras.

The Great Hoax of Albany started out straightforwardly enough: a dozen violent and racist white students harassed, threatened, tossed N-bombs and attacked three black coeds — hurting them really, really, really badly.

For no reason whatsoever.

It ended Wednesday when Albany police charged the three black women with assault, and charged two of them with filing a false police report about the racial violence.

No one pointed out — or cared — that in Albany, racial violence is a common and one-way thing: Black on white.

Then came the cameras: First, a camera phone from the bus. Though the audio and videos were sketchy, at no time did anyone see or hear anything like the scenario the black coeds described.

No threats. No violence. No racial slurs. In fact, some insist that the camera phone shows one of the white guys trying to stop the fight.

Then came the other cameras: the city bus had 12 of them.

The Albany Hoax is just one of several racial fairy tales to come and go over the past year. But Albany columnist Chris Churchill is urging us to pay them no mind. They are the work of the devil, he said, because everyone knows that black people are victims of relentless white racism all the time, everywhere, and that explains everything.

There is a plague of such false allegation and Flaherty lists several examples. This phenomena is part and parcel of the allegations about “mass incarceration” of blacks that only looks at the race of prison population and not at crimes committed. There is a problem. It is racial. It is internal to that race. It is related to the 70% or more babies without fathers. It is still in the denial stage. It festers. It destroys. And it is fed by those such as the Albany columnist. 

Just who is it that feeds civil disruption? What happens when they are successful?

Worried yet?

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So easily let him do it

Does actual history even matter any more? VDH considers Iraq: The Real Story

Donald Trump constantly brings up Iraq to remind voters that Jeb Bush supported his brother’s war, while Trump, alone of the Republican candidates, supposedly opposed it well before it started.

That is a flat-out lie. There is no evidence that Trump opposed the war before the March 20, 2003 invasion. Like most Americans, he supported the invasion and said just that very clearly in interviews. And like most Americans, Trump quickly turned on a once popular intervention — but only when the postwar occupation was beginning to cost too much in blood and treasure. Trump’s serial invocations of the war are good reminders of just how mythical Iraq has now become.

In October 2002, President Bush asked for the consent of Congress — unlike the Clinton resort to force in the Balkans and the later Obama bombing in Libya, both by executive action — before using arms to reify existing American policy. Both the Senate (with a majority of Democrats voting in favor) and the House overwhelmingly approved 23 writs calling for Saddam’s forced removal. The causes of action included Iraq’s violation of well over a dozen U.N. resolutions, Saddam’s harboring of international terrorists (including those who had tried and failed to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993), his plot to murder former president George H. W. Bush, his violations of no-fly zones, his bounties to suicide bombers on the West Bank, his genocidal policies against the Kurds and Marsh Arabs, and a host of other transgressions. Only a few of the causes of action were directly related to weapons of mass destruction.

It is legitimate to change opinions about a war or to rue a flawed occupation. But it is not ethical to deny prior positions or invent reasons why what once seemed prudent later seemed reckless.

We can surely argue about Iraq, but we must not airbrush away facts. The mystery of the current Iraq fantasy is not that a prevaricating Donald Trump misrepresents the war in the fashion of Democratic senators and liberal pundits who once eagerly supported it, but that his Republican opponents so easily let him do it.

The example of Korea is also mentioned with comparison and contrast. The key though, is the “so easily let him do it” notice. This concern should be in regard to the broader propaganda picture and not restricted to just one episode. The fact that so many swallow the propaganda is bad enough. The fact that so many just allow it to exist without protest should be a more significant concern. Does actual history and reality even matter in governance anymore?

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Pushing snake oil and using voodoo while calling it science

jccarlton is asking What Is “Science”. Between the videos and links that prompted the question and illustrate why it is a question, there is enough material to peruse to spend a day or two or more. The focus is on behaviors and how they reflect the quality of the ideas being presented. Behaviors can be observed and that means they can provide an objective insight into subjective bias and presenter issues.

It’s rather amazing that nobody points out the logical fallacies involved stating that the opposition HAS no arguments and are all “deniers” rather than actually addressing their supposedly false arguments. Somehow in all the debate, the side that says that they are on the side of “science” never seems to present any, well science.

We, as human beings want to trust that there’s somebody who knows more than we do. That trust though is often misplaced. The problem starts when other factors influence research. When there’s agenda driving things the science becomes yet another tool to push the politics to drive the agenda and get the desired policies. When the policies are the desired result, all you end up with is people in lab coats spouting nonsense.

The problem with the scientist as prophet scenario is that science is ultimately about discovery, not prediction. So when you treat science like a religion you are no longer dealing with discovery of what is, you are preaching what you want things to be. That’s not science, it’s using the appearance of science to legitimize your agenda.

The integrity of the activists and the media friends is never called into question. Though maybe it should be. Whether it’s creating a consensus about AGW or attacking a pesticide the activities of these people leaves a lot to be desired. But this was inevitable. Give power to people and the corruption and all it brings soon follows.

The problem is to separate the good from the bad. The power of seeming reason is a powerful tool when you are pushing snake oil. Add to that that much of what science is surrounded by jargon that may be impenetrable by outsiders seemingly. Which is actually the point. The problem is that all it takes is one bad study surrounded by all the trappings of authority to do tremendous amounts of harm.

The typical pronouncements that we see should peg our BS meters. Especially when, like Tyson and Nye strong language is used to suppress dissent and debate. If there is an effort to suppress argument, that’s your first huge clue that what you are getting is BS.

So how do you tell real science from hokum. Simple, you don’t allow anybody to keep you from asking questions.

One of the big issues to consider is not only how to distinguish between real and hokum but why nobody seems to care. The examples of AGW, GM foods, vector born disease, and vaccination are one thing. Having the two leading candidates in a national election having to testify about their potentially felonious acts is another.  There was some wondering when there was so much enthusiasm for a socialist despite the reality of history but it seems the concerns are almost in the noise. It seems other issues, the promise of the snake oil, has overwhelmed reason and integrity.

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Casual with the truth

On the ‘everybody does it‘ front, the Coyote provides a good example. The topic is ‘every politician lies’ and the error is the underlying assumption that all misstatements of fact are the same from the trivial typo to the propaganda meme. The latter is noted at the Coyote Blog (in confusion with the former).

I really don’t like the meme that Bush lied about Iraq (on WMD’s, possession of yellow cake uranium, whatever). Here is why: the implication is that if we just had smarter, more honest politicians, all of our interventionist foreign policy would work great. But beyond the fact that we never have smarter and more honest politicians, this meme prevents us from learning the right lesson from the Iraq war.

This is indeed the cost of the propaganda meme type lie and one that separates it from other types and should also serve as a reminder that just casually tossing around the ‘everybody lies’ accusation is an evasion and not a proper truth. Consider this:

The lesson from the Iraq War is that we are never going to have a sensible foreign policy until we adopt some humility — a lot of humility — about our ability to understand other countries and manipulate them by force.

Humility. That starts within. It is a personal characteristic. It is, perhaps, in taking the view that each of us ‘lies’ and we need humility to accept that we may even be lying to ourselves. That means we should be a bit reserved in casting stones and making gross assumptions about others. Sometimes we reveal our own issues in subtle ways.

I grew up in a Texas conservative Republican family, though I shed a lot of the social conservative baggage, as well as any team allegiance to the Republicans, decades ago.

Humility? This not only blasts an entire ideology but sets one as above those heathens. That is called hubris, not humility. He notes that “They say that a converted Christian is more passionate that those who have been Christian all their lives”. Yes, well, Christians are Christians because they accept the fact that they are sinners (i.e. liars) and must atone. That aspect is missing in those who see faults in others but not themselves.

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Simple Sabotage

The blog is about organization leadership and the post is about tactics that sabotage one’s own efforts. 9 Ways We Sabotage Ourselves is a book review relating tactics manuals for WW II undercover operatives to modern organizational leadership.

In Simple Sabotage, authors Robert Galford, Bob Frisch and Cary Greene explain that in January 1944 the OSS (Office of Strategic Services—predecessor of the CIA) published the Simple Sabotage Field Manual to train resistance members in the art of sabotage. “The Manual detailed easy ways to disrupt and demoralize the enemy’s institutions without being detected.”

One thing you will notice from each of these tactics or behaviors is that none of them are all that bad on the surface. One could easily find a rational explanation for engaging in them—to a point. And that’s the problem. That’s why these are insidious.

You can see these tactics in practice in government and politics and campaigns as well. The effect is not productive.

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Apple’s Straw Man

Mark Wilson notes that Apple is using a straw man argument to fight the FBI. The key he notes is that the court order says nothing about encryption yet encryption is a key part of the objection raised by the Apple CEO.

Apple is being utterly disingenuous in suggesting that this is a story about encryption. It’s not.

That’s not to say Apple is completely wrong, of course, but it is certainly being misleading.

The thing is, putting forward the idea of breaking encryption is a far, far more emotive issue. It’s something that everyone — every company — cares about.

No company wants to be seen to be siding with the enemy, even if the “enemy” is fighting terrorism. The real enemy here, for Apple, is Apple’s image. Apple is terrified of any of its sheen becoming tarnished. Sadly, the company has resorted to poorly thought out arguments based on flawed logic and unsound reasoning to support its position. The damage to image has already been done.

Part of the question in that of figuring out just who is the enemy. Apple has well know leftist leanings and that leads to suspicion that they consider the U,S. government (but not other governments, it seems) as the enemy – just look at the Snowden hagiographies from this crowd. The tactics are common. Use a straw man to divert the topic and confuse the issue. Logical fallacies do not foster honest discussion and this one provides yet another example of socially important issues corrupted by a lack of intellectual integrity.

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Koch and Sanders Agree

Charles Koch: This is the one issue where Bernie Sanders is right.

The senator is upset with a political and economic system that is often rigged to help the privileged few at the expense of everyone else, particularly the least advantaged. He believes that we have a two-tiered society that increasingly dooms millions of our fellow citizens to lives of poverty and hopelessness. He thinks many corporations seek and benefit from corporate welfare while ordinary citizens are denied opportunities and a level playing field.

I agree with him.

Consider the regulations, handouts, mandates, subsidies and other forms of largesse our elected officials dole out to the wealthy and well-connected. The tax code alone contains $1.5 trillion in exemptions and special-interest carve-outs. Anti-competitive regulations cost businesses an additional $1.9 trillion every year. Perversely, this regulatory burden falls hardest on small companies, innovators and the poor, while benefitting many large companies like ours. This unfairly benefits established firms and penalizes new entrants, contributing to a two-tiered society.

Whenever we allow government to pick winners and losers, we impede progress and move further away from a society of mutual benefit. This pits individuals and groups against each other and corrupts the business community, which inevitably becomes less focused on creating value for customers. That’s why Koch Industries opposes all forms of corporate welfare

The issue is currently at debate in Nevada after the PUC decided that the subsidies for household solar systems should stop. For Koch, this is a step in the right direction but for the Sanders crowd this is likely a step backward. Those on the left like to rail against corporations whose profits always seem to depend upon screwing their customers. When it comes to corporations in certain areas that are in ideological sync with them, though, using taxpayer money to screw customers is a good thing.

One of the rationalizations often used to cover over this dissonance is to confuse subsidy with tax breaks. The issue here is whether to allow certain costs to reduce taxable income or to pay money in one form or another to help defray the capital costs of a plant. 

Nevada also has its “who you know” examples in the tax breaks companies like Tesla and Amazon have been able to obtain to bring business into the state. The small guys without connections are seeing ever more taxes and fees because they don’t have the privileges and contacts that the big corporations do. 

So Charles Koch and Bernie Sanders do have some common ground. The problem is that one doesn’t have to travel far off that ground to find who has exceptions and who has consistent values.

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From talking to Saddam Hussein

Ronald Kessler describes the secret FBI debriefings done by George L. Piro as Behind Saddam Hussein’s deception — “Saddam faked having weapons of mass destruction, but he had nuclear ambitions.” It sheds light on the primary accusation of the Code Pink types picking out G.W. Bush as lying about Iraq having nuclear weapons.

The mainstream media have largely ignored Saddam’s admissions about faking WMD and his aspirations to pursue nuclear weapons. In an example of how inept Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are at public relations, neither has referred to Saddam’s admissions in explaining the rationale for taking him out.

But given that Saddam realized he was about to be executed and had nothing to lose by being forthcoming, his admissions to the FBI help illuminate why Mr. Bush and the CIA were convinced that Saddam was indeed a threat.

Of course, even Donald Trump, despite what he says today was condemning Hussein much in the same way he is talking about going after ISIS now. He joins a lot of Democrats on that bit of altered history recollection. What is also interesting is that Hussein engaged in a deliberate deception as a part of an effort to keep Iran at bay in a manner that they have now been released due to recent agreements between Iran and the U,S,

So, in this example, we have history being re-written and its consequences re-visited in a way that encroach upon world war and nuclear Armageddon. Worried yet?

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History by Personal Pique

It is another propaganda victory in that more than half the populace believes the war on Iraq was a President Bush mistake. Carl M. Cannon takes the covers off reality in Donald Trump, Iraq Demagogue.

These Democrats weren’t saying anything controversial. They were reflecting a bipartisan national will that echoed official U.S. policy. That policy, regime change in Iraq, was an actual law—The Iraq Liberation Act—signed by Bill Clinton on October 31, 1998.

This was the environment inherited by George W. Bush when he took office. The September 11, 2001 attacks only upped the pressure on Saddam, especially after Iraq became the only Arab nation not to condemn them. Weeks later, Bush received a letter signed by nine members of Congress, including John McCain and two Democrats, noting that U.N. inspectors hadn’t visited Iraq in three years.

George W. Bush made more than 150 speeches and public comments between his State of the Union address in 2002 and the March 19, 2003 announcement of the invasion. In almost all of them he cited multiple reasons for his tightening vise grip around Saddam’s regime. These include Saddam’s habit of invading his neighbors, including Iran and Kuwait; his support for international terrorism; his depredations against the Kurds; his violation of U.N. sanctions; his hostility toward Israel, which included missile attacks on civilians; his destabilizing influence in the region; his frightful crimes against his own people that included “rape rooms,” a phrase Bush invoked.

The human rights dimension was the one that seemed to motivate Bush the most. On two occasions, he recalled that Saddam had conspired to assassinate a former U.S. president, namely, his own father. This brings us full circle: Donald Trump’s apparent motivations for smearing George W. Bush is that the 43rd U.S. president has the temerity to campaign for his brother. Trump represents a new school of historical revisionism. Call it History by Personal Pique.

Yet casually accusing Bush of bad faith is another matter. When Trump does so, it has the feel of calculated misdirection. The reason? He’s the one lying about Iraq.

Yet even Cannon asserts that “an accurate recollection of the facts, however, does not absolve the Bush administration of blame for policies that led to the spiraling disintegration of the Middle East“. As indicated by Hanson (cf earlier post), it can be argued that the “spiraling disintegration” is not the Iraq war but rather the abandonment involved in ending it to appease the nationalist and sectarian interests, the isolationists, and the peace at any cost crowd. Consider the events after WW II and Korea where the U.S. commitment was honored  vs those after abandonment in Vietnam and Iraq.

But it is so easy to avoid discomfort by blaming some villain no matter how vacuous such efforts be. 1939 is in front of us again.

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Déjà vu 1939

Professor Hanson: The return of appeasement, collaboration and isolationism — “The world of 2016 is beginning to resemble the powder keg of 1939

The world of 2016 is eerily beginning to resemble the powder keg of 1939 Europe.

Iran, China and North Korea, along with radical Islamic terrorist groups, all have particular contempt for Western democracies. Almost daily, various aggressive nations or organizations seek provocation …

The European Union is largely unarmed. Yet it still trusts that it can use its vaunted “smart diplomacy” to reason with its enemies.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin’s Russia cuts deals with Iran, Syria and most of the enemies of the West. Like Stalin before, Mr. Putin cynically assumes that his triangulations will turn aggressive powers exclusively against the West. …

America is slowly withdrawing from involvement abroad, using the same isolationist arguments heard in the 1920s.

Past interventions in the Middle East have worn on the nation. Ingrate nations did not appreciate American sacrifices. In tough economic times, some contend that defense spending should be diverted to more social programs.

Appeasement, collaboration and isolationism always prove a lethal mix — past and present.

You see, Iraq was a mistake some assert. But that is only if isolationism will prevent hijacked airliners from flying into sky scrapers in suicide missions … And then there is Iran and the deal with nuclear weapons … now ISIS

worried yet? or is WW II on your list of big propaganda conspiracies like the holocaust and Stalin’s purge and the other things that even the Pope seems to forget.

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Propaganda effort in full swing

The news is full of quotes from Senator Reid and President Obama repeating the claim that the Republicans are the most obstructionist, evva’ — the stimulus is the death of a SCOTUS judge.

The adage is ‘repeat a lie often enough and it becomes truth’ and that is what one can see going on right now. Trumper’s Code Pink and 9/11 truther pledge of allegiance is another example.

In both of these examples, recent history makes clear that the efforts are poorly based but then reality has never been of much interest in propaganda campaigns such as this.

The real concern is why such dishonest efforts are effective.

Worried yet?

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Full BDS: D. Trump

BDS is Bush Derangement Syndrome. It is a result of one of the most insidious and malicious propaganda campaigns of our time. Donald Trump brought it back into the limelight at the South Carolina debate. Paul Kengor provides the background in Bush Lied About WMDs? Trump’s Outrageous Accusation.

In short, all of that very recent history was forgotten by an emotional, angry, childish political left after our troops didn’t find the WMD stockpiles we all expected.

Of course, we did discover some WMDs in Iraq after 2003 (everyone forgets this), and chief inspector David Kay found both Iraqi infrastructure and intent to ramp up WMD production once Saddam later figured he was in the clear. We did not, however, find the WMD stockpiles we expected.

That said, the argument that George W. Bush deliberately lied about WMDs is not only extraordinarily unfair but stunningly misinformed and nonsensical.

There is a related meme out there on this same line. It is that invading Iraq was a mistake. This idea must be weighed against the Authorization to Use Military Force and the Iraq Resolution (see Wikipedia). Those who say it was a mistake are saying that the United States should stand by when there is a “brutal repression of its civilian population,” a “capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people” and many other similar assertions. They must also confront the fact that the resolution received overwhelming support. The real question is that of a fickle people, a political opposition that decided that their resolution should be sacrificed on the alter of political propaganda and deceit for political gain without any consideration for the mayhem that has resulted as a consequence.

This gets right up there with the ‘anti-war’ protesters in the 60’s who engaged in war against their own nation.

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The question of our time

The Democratic Party is united in staking its future on fundamental falsehoods, from race and crime and sex (discrimination) and illegal immigration and the position of the United States abroad. Watching Clinton and Sanders speak to these matters in tandem is almost shocking. We are in the realm of all-embracing lies.

Scott Johnson takes note in After last night, an observation after watching the debate between Sanders and Clinton that did not mention e-mail or the other popping scandals even once. The ‘fact checkers’ are going to have to put in some overtime trying to find ways to truthify the talking points presented.

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Do they refuse to see?

An IBT editorial: Venezuela Is Socialist, Senator Sanders. Any Questions? — it appears that some are beginning to wonder about learning from history, especially among those who are supposedly educated.

That reality of socialism and its horrific results is mocked by Sanders himself, who denies it has anything to do with his own ideas. “I myself don’t use the word socialism,” he told a University of Vermont student publication in 1976 “because people have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech.”

Brainwashed? The very word comes from socialist indoctrination practices. Sanders’ flip dismissal of those realities reminds us of a quote from Nobel Prize winner and author of “The Gulag Archipelago” Aleksander Solzhenitsyn: “Or do they refuse to see?” Yes, Sanders and his followers refuse.

That’s the part of socialism Bernie Sanders doesn’t want to talk about. It’s the same wherever it’s tried. Voters fall for it over and over, and all it brings is failure. Sanders is only continuing the con. When is he going to be called on it?

It’s about trying to say it will be different this time, over and over and over again. The forces of deceit and illusion are strong. Reality seems weak but it does eventually surface. The path may be slow but that only drags the pain out over time.

But that’s Venezuela and Cuba and … How about Columbia? Marco Rubio says The U.S and Colombia Will Lead the Americas Forward in the 21st Century.

Over the past 15 years, Plan Colombia and other U.S. assistance have helped transform Colombia from a country ravaged by drug cartels and terrorist insurgents to the more prosperous and secure society it is today. … It has helped turn a country with a corrupt and unreliable judiciary into a place with growing confidence that justice will be served for those who violate laws.

Although these realities today may seem like they were inevitable all along, we should never take them for granted nor should we allow these hard-fought gains to be eroded.

Colombia’s achievements to date in overcoming the damage done by the FARC have been extraordinary, but the toughest work lies ahead.

The question is why is it so difficult? Nearly every country south of the U.S. suffers from this plague in one way or another. We even see its effects in the U.S. not only in the rhetoric and pledges of some candidates but also in the many scandals involving departments such as the IRS, the EPA, the DOJ,, and State. 

It does seem ‘they’ refuse to see. 

Worried, yet?

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Evolving stories

There are two political stories in the air at the moment that illustrate significant distortion and potential collusion. One is about Cruz distributing a CNN report as a political trick in Iowa and the other is the U.S. State Department mounting a Clinton defense with the ‘everybody does it’ approach. Ed Morrissey explains the State IG: Classified info went to Powell, Rice aides on personal e-mail accounts story.

Hillary’s defenders will claim, this was done all the time! It’s no big deal! Reuters reports that the IG’s findings were made public by the “top Dem on oversight panel,”

the fact that others have violated a law does not make other violations hunky-dory.

Secretaries of State and their aides have no authority to change classification on information originating in other agencies,

Let’s compare the situations of the three Secretaries of State. All three served four years; Powell and Rice to a lesser extent served at a time when State’s e-mail systems were in flux. Yet the IG can only find two instances of spillage involving Powell’s private e-mail account, and none involving Rice (all ten involved her aides). Hillary didn’t bother getting an official State Department account, but instead hid her communications from Congress and the courts for more than five years to thwart legitimate, constitutional oversight on State. The system she owned and kept at her house was used to retain and transmit classified information on more than one thousand, three hundred occasions. And most importantly, the information that got exposed in this system was intelligence data derived from other agencies, some of which was classified at the highest levels and put sources, methods, and agents at risk.

This story is nothing more than an attempt to misdirect Americans from the egregiously corrupt and likely criminal activities of Hillary Clinton in her efforts to cover up her activities at State.

As Ace of Spades puts it

The interesting thing here is that State can classify, or declassify, information originating with State. But they cannot classify, nor declassify, information originating with another service, like the CIA or NSA.

The issue is that the government is now engaged in an illegal conspiracy against the country. The entire government is in under the control of a gang.

Wonder why people are getting concerned about corruption in government?

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Understanding Trump: impulse buyers with short memories?

Selwyn Duke offers The Voters’ Trump Love Affair Explained in Terms Even Beltway Pundits Can Understand. It’s the kind of stuff you see over and over again in marketing courses and seminars but seldom see in actual practice (which is likely why the courses and seminars are so popular).

as Ben Franklin observed, “You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into.” Note that while this relates the futility of trying to shake a person from passionately embraced error, people can also have an emotional attachment to correct beliefs, for the right or wrong reasons and with or without an intellectual understanding (e.g., Plato spoke of inculcating children, who are too young to grasp abstract moral principles, with an “erotic [emotional] attachment” to virtue).

And this is what Trump does so masterfully. When he repeats his slogan “Make America Great Again,” says we’re going to “win” under his administration or speaks of building a border wall and getting “Mexico to pay for it,” it’s silly to wonder why it resonates despite the lack of detail. He’s marketing, not doing R&D; he’s not trying to appeal mainly to the intellect, but the emotions. And you do this with the slogan, not by reciting the list of ingredients. Again, this isn’t a commentary on the validity of his recipe, only on the principles of effective campaigning.

Of course, stating the obvious, to connect with people emotionally you must capitalize on something appealing to them emotionally. Trump’s bold nationalism does this. What do the others offer?

It’s as if Trump is courting Lady America with wine, roses and his alpha-male persona, while the Establishment candidates are lead-tongued nerds promising a tent with NSA surveillance, a bowl of soup and squatters on a burnt-out lawn.

These ideas show not only in the campaign but in other areas as well. Consider climate alarmism and its Malthusian roots. It isn’t reason that leads people to doom and gloom and, as Franklin observed, it isn’t going to be reason to lead them away from it. The tenacity by which people hold on to their fantasies is incredible. That is something to fear when those fantasies stray a bit too far from reality. For political candidates, there is good reason for concern and Trump is not the only, or even the primary example. Consider the Sanders add featuring 60’s folk music ….

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Acceptable standards

A retired lawyer is wondering about Federal Bureaucracies: Incompetent, Corrupt, or Both?. Consider the IRS …

And yet, time after time, the IRS has either inadvertently or intentionally destroyed hard drives that courts have ordered them to preserve. In the private sector, this is unthinkable. Private companies obey court orders. They know that if they don’t, millions of dollars in sanctions are likely to result, and executives will lose their jobs. Only in government agencies do we see this kind of irresponsible scofflaw behavior. This is because most bureaucrats have a deep loyalty to the left-wing cause, and there is no accountability.

This is a new development in our democracy. Until now, we have never experienced an extra-legal administration like that of Barack Obama. Will the rule of law survive the 2016 presidential election? I don’t know. That wheel is still spinning.

And then there’s the EPA on its river spill, the State Department on the handling of classified material, … Look at all of the FOIA requests that have ended up in the courts due to intransigence of federal agencies.

Worried, yet? Or still making excuses?

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One funeral at a time

The death of Bob Carter provides an insight into how different people see things. From Stoat and William M. Connolley: Science advances one funeral at a time

Actually A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it, but I’m allowed to paraphrase in titles. And anyway he said it in German, naturally. Today brings us news of another such advancement in science, with the reported death of Robert Carter.

As far as I can recall, he was a minor figure in the Great Climate Wars; at least, I don’t seem to have been very interested in him. He gets those usual suspects Robert M. Carter, C. R. de Freitas, Indur M. Goklany, David Holland & Richard S. Lindzen wrote in 2007; a throwaway line ($1,667 per month) from Heartland in 2012. That seems to be it. It’s a bit of a sad end when even I couldn’t be bothered to attack him. Sou was a bit more interested; or Deltoid back in the day.

Compare and contrast that to Steve McIntyre

I will not attempt to comment on his work as that is covered elsewhere, but do wish to mention something personal. In 2003, when I was unknown to anyone other than my friends and family, I had been posting comments on climate reconstructions at a chatline. Bob emailed me out of the blue with encouragement, saying that I was looking at the data differently than anyone else and that I should definitely follow it through. Without his specific encouragement, it is not for sure that I ever would have bothered trying to write up what became McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) or anything else.

We’ve met personally on a number of occasions over the years – at AGU in 2004 or 2005, and on several occasions at Erice, most recently last summer. He was always full of good cheer, despite continuing provocations, and unfailingly encouraging.

So, For Connolley learning and teaching is out and death to remove unpleasant questions is the way to go. For McIntyre, mentors and investigation and learning and growth are the way to go. Where is the hate? Where is the love? Where is the humanity, intellectual integrity, and respect? Who is talking about “triumph” and winning and losing; war and conquest; destruction of the enemy (even after death)? Who is talking about the loss from death and destruction and valuing growth?

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Witch Hunts

Ian Smith describes How the left shuts down the immigration debate“Enforcement officials are ‘outed’ as an act of intimidation.

Witch hunts, intimidation and slander will increase if immigration patriots fail to organize. A confident and supportive pro-sovereignty movement gives its advocates the confidence to not back down in the face of an attacker, disarming and neutralizing his attacks. Without organization, however, immigration patriots will continue to yield and the “social justice” surveillance state will only keep spreading.

Just another tactic, a misuse of the ‘right to know’ that is behind FOIA requests. The goal isn’t enlightenment, though, it is shaming. intimidation, and harassment. Consider, as another flavor of this tactic, the headlines about 13 hours being political. It isn’t but it does dramatize (and document) a hot button topic that tends to impugn heroes of the left. Therefore it must be slandered and distorted. The idea is the same, feel something ugly so find the witch and then prosecute that witch in any way possible. 

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13 hours for denial in the State Propaganda Machine

Ed takes a look at a WaPo columnist: Say, this 13 Hours actually is political and observes:

The real objection is when a film becomes partisan, not political. The American President would have been a fine comedy if it had not been ruined by its harsh partisan bent. My Fellow Americans was a much better film because it poked fun at the partisan divide. Both were political, but only one was dishonest about its intent. That’s the issue, and Hornaday admits smack in the middle that she doesn’t have a case; she just wants to gripe about the narrative.

Honesty adds to the story. Even when fiction, honesty to intent can make or break the story. A good story builds trust in the story teller as a story teller and not as a propagandist trying to scam you. The Benghazi movie is in the tradition of heroes who are telling their own story. By all (honest) accounts, it is well done and a good action thriller. Compare and contrast to that movie about Rathergate to see the kind of difference that Ed is talking about between partisan and political.

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