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The Management of Unleashed Insanity

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President Richard Nixon during a campaign rally at Madison Square Garden in New York, Oct. 31, 1968. (Photo by David Fenton/Getty Images)

  • Trump’s gamble is that the ardor of the true believers can be weaponized into an assault on the doubters, knocking them back on their heels, shaking their faith in their own judgments…
  • The present situation, a regime that systematically assaults truth, is unprecedented.
  • Trump perfects the role of Propagandist-in-Chief.
  • Related: Most People Today Want to be Propagandized

Todd Gitlin, Moyers & Company

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Politics-%20Truth%20vs.%20Propaganda.jpg March 16, 2017 | Richard Nixon lied about wars and cover-ups, but otherwise his evasions and spins were in the mainstream of American political discourse. He was not in the regular practice of calling black white. By the end of his second term, Ronald Reagan was so mentally impaired as to make it unclear what he knew and when.

But the present situation, a regime that systematically assaults truth, is unprecedented.

Trump’s gamble is that the ardor of the true believers can be weaponized into an assault on the doubters, knocking them back on their heels, shaking their faith in their own judgments…

Todd Gitlin is a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph.D. program in communications at Columbia University. He is the author of 16 books, including several on journalism and politics. 

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Most People Today Want to be Propagandized, Daniel Lattier, Intellectual Takeout

  • http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/propaganda_0.jpgIntellectually insecure and socially uprooted, many people are now desperate for some authority to cling to, someone who will give simple expression to the inklings of thoughts and instincts to which they can neither give adequate voice nor adequately live out. 
  • "We would rather be ruined than changed. We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die." --WH Auden, English Poet 
  • Related: Will Americans Submit to Despotism in an Urge to 'Escape from Freedom'? 

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An Oscar for a Propaganda Flick

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Hollywood activists prefer their human rights causes blessed by the U.S. government, which contributed to the dubious Oscar for “The White Helmets” propaganda flick, writes Patrick Hennigsen at 21st Century Wire.

Patrick Hennigsen, Consortium News

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Dave & the Crew


https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/1-White-Helmets-Oscar-al-Qaeda-Terrorist-.jpgMarch 3, 2017 | In your average lifetime, everyone will get to see his or her share of war propaganda films. In America, it’s a kind of sacred tradition, where Hollywood does the job of revisionism, paving over an otherwise uncomfortable history with a new coat of stain. It’s necessary – not just to make us feel better about ourselves, but also to cover-up any inconvenient truths and high crimes of the state.

To be honest, when I first heard about “The White Helmets” film being promoted by Netflix, I wasn’t surprised at all because ever since the Syria conflict began in 2011, the establishment media has gone out of its way to falsely promote it as a “civil war” and have used the NGO known as the White Helmets, which calls itself the “Syria Civil Defense,” as its primary media protagonist in furthering that narrative.

Patrick Hennigsen is the founder and managing editor of the independent news and media analysis website 21st Century Wire.com and host of the weekly SUNDAY WIRE radio show which broadcasts live weekly on the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR).

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New Study Found No Link Between Immigration and Increased Crime in Forty Years of Data

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  • Politicians often claim that there is a relationship between immigration patterns and increased crime. In a study done at the University at Buffalo however, no links were found between the two. According to the findings, immigration instead appears to be linked to reductions in some types of crimes instead.
  • Related: The Positive Effects of Sanctuary Policies on Crime and the Economy

Science News Journal

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/ae9d47833d6fb8dca3a9b8c101a4f9855147d7f8/792_108_2208_1325/master/2208.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=03f0d3fdd181abeefa8fbcdba47b39d0February 15, 2017 | Robert Adelman, an associate professor of sociology at UB and the paper’s lead author, says that the results are very clear and that the research shows stable and strong evidence that, on average, immigration and crime are not linked across U.S. metropolitan areas. The study found that immigration does not increase assaults and that serious crimes such as burglaries, larceny, robberies and murder are in fact lower in places where immigration levels are high.

Adelman feels strongly that facts are critical in the current political environment. The empirical evidence in not only this study, but other related research as well, shows little to no support for the view that more immigrants lead to increased crime.

Science News Journal: Latest Science News - covering cancer, technology, nanotechnology, space, health, environment and much more!

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The Positive Effects of Sanctuary Policies on Crime and the Economy, Tom K. Wong, Center for American Progress

  • The Data Are Clear: Sanctuary Counties See Lower Crime Rates and Stronger Economies
  • Related: Special Project | Trump's Sanctuary Cities Plan is Straight Out of Breitbart, Radical Right Playbook

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Mainstream Media’s ‘Victimhood’

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  • Just weeks ago, mainstream U.S. media decried “fake news” and backed a blacklist of independent news sites over “Russian propaganda.” Now, under fire from President Trump, the MSM loves a free press.
  • Related: Watch Jon Stewart on 'Colbert' Urge Media to Dump Trump 

Robert Parry, Consortium News

http://media.salon.com/2010/04/white_house_reporters_afraid_to_criticize_the_white_house-460x307.jpgFebruary 28, 2017 | It’s heartwarming that The New York Times and The Washington Post are troubled that President Trump is loosely throwing around accusations of “fake news.” It’s nice that they now realize that truth does not reliably come from the mouth of every senior government official or from every official report.

The Times is even taking out full-page ads in its own pages to offer truisms about truth: “The truth is hard. The truth is hidden. The truth must be pursued. The truth is hard to hear. The truth is rarely simple. The truth isn’t so obvious. …”  On Sunday, those truth truisms ran opposite an alarmist column by Jim Rutenberg entitled, “Will the Real Democracy Lovers Please Stand Up?” Meanwhile, The Washington Post launched its own melodramatic slogan, “Dies in Darkness.”

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from barnesandnoble.com).

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Watch Jon Stewart on 'Colbert' Urge Media to Dump Trump, Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone 

Former 'Daily Show' host encourages press to get over breakup with president, find new hobbies like journalism.

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Jon%20Stewart%20on%20Stephen%20Colbbert%27s%20Show.jpgFebruary 28, 2017 | Jon Stewart tunneled from his farm to Stephen Colbert's desk where he encouraged the media to get over its breakup with President Trump on The Late Show Monday.
  • Stewart spoke about the President's contentious relationship with the press, from attacks on specific news outlets like CNN and Buzzfeed, to outright lying. "Nobody says 'believe me' unless they are lying," Stewart said. But Stewart also urged the media stop hanging on Trump's every falsehood and attack, and insisted it was time for the press to "get its groove back."

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Most People Today Want to be Propagandized

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/propaganda_0.jpg

  • Intellectually insecure and socially uprooted, many people are now desperate for some authority to cling to, someone who will give simple expression to the inklings of thoughts and instincts to which they can neither give adequate voice nor adequately live out. 
  • "We would rather be ruined than changed. We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die." --WH Auden, English Poet
  • Related: 

     

    Will Americans Submit to Despotism in an Urge to 'Escape from Freedom'? 

     

     

Daniel Lattier, Intellectual Takeout 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Politics-%20Truth%20vs.%20Propaganda.jpg January 24, 2017 | There’s a principle in hypnotism that goes like this: A person cannot be hypnotized against his will. He must be a willing subject. He must be fully cooperative.

So it goes with propaganda. For propaganda to be effective, it requires submissive subjects. As Professor Nicholas O’Shaughnessy wrote, propaganda is a “co-production in which we are willing participants.”

Propaganda is typically defined as the dissemination of particularly biased information in support of a political or ideological cause. In his 1965 book Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, philosopher Jacques Ellul provided us with some of the basic characteristics of propaganda: it thwarts dialogue, it is geared toward the masses, it utilizes various media, it is continuous, it is not intended to make one think.

Daniel Lattier is the Vice President of Intellectual Takeout. He received his B.A. in Philosophy and Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas (MN), and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Related:

Will Americans Submit to Despotism in an Urge to 'Escape from Freedom'? Conor LynchSalon / AlterNet

  • The pioneering psychologist explained the rise of Hitler with an analysis that seems way too relevant now.
  • Erich Fromm Saw It Coming.
  • Related: Most People Today Want to be Propagandized

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NPR Guest Warns Against Living Wages With Fantasies of $16 Apples

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  • It would be nice if (NPR's) Morning Edition could get someone to discuss Trump’s Homeland Security pick who didn’t believe exploiting immigrants was necessary for Americans to be able to afford food.
  • Related: From the Archives | Do You Know Where Your Tomatoes Come From?

Jim Naureckas, FAIR.org

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http://fair.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Apples.jpg December 13, 2017 | To comment on Donald Trump’s naming retired Marine Gen. John Kelly as his Department of Homeland Security secretary, NPR‘s Morning Edition (12/9/16) brought on George W. Bush’s Homeland Security chief, Michael Chertoff.

A more independent observer might have brought up Kelly’s oversight of the US’s Guantánamo internment camp, where he has defended the force-feeding of hunger-strikers, a procedure condemned by human rights groups as torture.

Jim Naureckas is the editor of FAIR.org

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From the Archives | Do You Know Where Your Tomatoes Come From? Lauren Feeney, Moyers & Company 

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  • “Harvesting tomatoes and other produce from the nation’s agricultural fields is arguably the worst job in the country,” journalist Chris Hedges writes in his book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.
  • Related: Why Women Who Pick and Process Your Food Face Daily Threats of Rape, Harassment and Wage Theft
  • Related: 1960: "Harvest of Shame"

Series | Trump Nation, Part 8: Is the U.S. Becoming a Banana Republic?

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James Fallows, the Atlantic

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Atlantic%20%7C%20How%20Trump%20Could%20Build%20an%20Autocracy.jpgFebruary 21, 2017 | David Frum is worried it will happen under President Trump. “The fancy term is authoritarian kleptocracy,” Frum says in a long and enriching talk with Atlantic editor Scott Stossel last Thursday about the dangers of the Trump administration (starting at the 10:22 mark).

The SoundCloud audio version is here. And if you haven’t yet read David’s cover story on Trump, or want to read it again in light of this discussion, here’s the link. If you prefer to listen to it on the go or while doing chores around the house, here’s the audio version.

James Fallows is a national correspondent for the Atlantic  and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne.

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Previously in this Series:

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