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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our New Civic Duty to Learn More About Propaganda

Hello Papamoka Bloggers! It's clear to me that we're living through some pretty tough times. It's almost like we've split into three different camps, with the right and left tugging at those in the middle to the point of exhaustion. The big problem is how hard some are tugging.

Americans are being lied to more than ever, and sadly there doesn't seem to be any force powerful enough to prevent it. It's getting out of control, and things are getting very dangerous.

Aside from terrorism, the evil in America today is coming from politicians and corporate interests. They have climbed into bed together, and the American people are the ones being screwed. Political messages are getting more and more complicated. Some might say too complicated. Issues are being decided less on debate and more on paid punditry.

Politics has always been a dirty job, but somehow the duels and corrupt leaders of the past pale in comparison to the billions spent on the lies and deceit of today. Modern political "warfare" seems larger and nastier somehow, and the lies seem to infect more people. I keep looking for a silver lining, but without a big success like true health care reform, the skies look dark to me.

The Industrial Revolution sullied America's politicians like the London skyline. The nineteenth century brought us President Grant smoking cigars with power brokers in the lobby of the Willard Hotel. Those conversations have grown from bad to worse. Lobbying today is more secretive and the interests more corrupt. Corporate shills now prowl Congress handing out huge checks buying huge favors.

Unless we can fight our way through their money and lies our American democracy - our very freedom to govern ourselves based on a free press and simple truths - is at risk of failure.

Despite the best efforts of a few it seems the lies are just too many and too often. Ironically, the political electorate are more powerful than ever due to email and the Internet, yet powerful special interests have worked hard to keep their media and message at full volume despite the innovations. Their lies far outpace our desire for truth. As usual, they manipulate us, despite our best efforts.

We need our political leaders to have the backbone and the skills to compete against today's powerful, rich, private sector power brokers. It's possible, with the exception of the Civil War era, we need their leadership more than ever.

Even the President of the United States fights an uphill battle to get his/our message out - the message we supported during the election. Unfortunately, our so-called 24/7 "news" channels fill the airwaves with so many lies and so much ado about nothing that Americans forget their best interests and lose focus. The airwaves have become a minefield of sorts.

Sadly, health care is only the tip of the iceberg. If we don't win the war against disinformation now, we may never win. The special interest forces and their great wealth may corrupt our system to the point where reform is impossible. It may sound hyperbolic, but corporations may ultimately control the levers of power - if they don't already.

Unless Republicans and their supporters see the light, corporate money, political corruption, greed, and worst of all, a disregard for what is in the best interest of the American people, may be our political future. We need to fight back! We need to find a way to shut down the spin doctors, the liars and the money changers.

Greedy, soulless journalists and money-grubbing pundits cannot be allowed to destroy 230+ years of free press and good governance.

What is the solution? A grassroots movement? A constitutional convention for a constitutional amendment baring corporate involvement in politics? Who knows, but I suggest we start thinking. If health care/insurance reform falls victim to their lies and deceit, then I think it is a clear sign that something must be done before it's too late.

Michael Boh
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor

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27 Comments:

Blogger by Michael Boh said...

I want to be clear that I have no desire to be drawn into a false debate here. I have said my peace.

I sincerely believe, and recent comments on this blog prove, that many Americans on the right cannot see the lies or even the liars that tell them.

I know the health care bills as written, and the lies on the right are plentiful and outrageous. They are also downright evil at times. I will not be convinced here by a few absurd talking points, or by other distractions. There is no debate on this point, for the lies exist, and that is a fact.

Blog all you want, in any way you want, but serious issues like health care should still be taken seriously, and be all about the truth. MB

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And health care should be between a doctor and a patient without protocol or mandates by the government which is why many don't want the governemnt involved in something so personal.
Ih and the message during the campaign was "affordable" health care. He wants a single payer system which he cleverly disguised during the campaign.

Lisa

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Infidel753 said...

Could "mandates by the government" be any worse than those we currently get from insurance companies?

What amazes me even more than the lies is the people who somehow think we don't have severe, cruel, and illogical health-care rationing right now.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least you can fight an insurance company . It does happen. Who are you going to fight when the government puts you on a 1 year waiting list for something or better yet gives you a number who are you going to fight? You are up the creek without a paddle.
The govenment can pretty much do what it wants when it has no one to compete with.
Lisa

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who's lying? Your congress is. They don't even understand the bill without alawyer to interpret it? They lie that it will save money when the CBO clearly said it won't .
I am sorry that many cannot see they are being fed the propaganda.
Obama said you get to keep you insurance when it's been proven eventually we will all be put on the government plan(except congress of course)
With the insurance companies the doctors make the medical decisions with the government some unqualified government paid doctor will be making your medical decisions.

Lisa

3:59 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

"We need to find a way to shut down the spin doctors, the liars and the money changers."

This has been tried in other countries. I trust you will forgive my if I hope you fail to achieve it here. I like the First amendment.

"Unless Republicans and their supporters see the light, corporate money, political corruption, greed, and worst of all, a disregard for what is in the best interest of the American people, may be our political future."

Michael, the Democrats have controlled the House and Senate since 2006. If these people are bribing the government it is Democrats they are bribing. Didn't you know this? Not one dime has been authorized that the Democratically controlled Congress did not pass. The President is a Democrat for seven months now. Any law the Democrats want to pass they have the power to pass. If you don't like what the government is doing your complaint is with the Democrats. The Republicans are out of power and you have been claiming they are dead and gone, that they only have the support of 20% of the people. You can not claim they are history and still blame them for what Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are doing. I'm sorry you are disappointed that the Democratic leaders and Obama broke so many of their promises but I could have told you they were liars. Blame them, not the Republicans. They have had the power to get us out of the war, pass health care, and end the use of fossil fuel for some time. If they have not it is because they choose not to. If they took bribes it is not the Republican's fault. The Democrats have control. They have the power.

Why don't you admit this?

4:02 PM  
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

Democrats have passed dozens of bills while in control, helping millions of Americans. Republicans did little except spend debt and lie us into war, and have done little to help average Americans. Those are the facts. Live with them.

The big reform bills are now up against huge lies, swallowed by millions of Republicans and fools. Many are on this site. It's all just spin, spin and more spin - and lies, lies and more lies. More and more BS!

I never said anything about eliminating freedoms, simply freeing us from CORPORATE politics using LEGAL means. I was clear. Stop distracting the message. Stop spinning and distracting.

We need to learn to spot the propaganda. It's so tiresome.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

What lie have I told, Michael?

4:34 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

"We need to find a way to shut down the spin doctors, the liars and the money changers."

You have called me a liar so this would apply to me. What legal means are you going to use to "shut me down" and keep me from talking to my elected representative or my fellow citizens that does not interfere with my first amendment rights?

Do you even know what "lie" means. It is not just anything you don't have an answer for.

This may help.
http://dictionary.reference.com/

After you look it up please tell me what lie I told.

Or apologize.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this a lie?The democrat party is owned by George Soros,master manipulator
Lisa

4:44 PM  
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

Sorry, I didn't mean you specifically, or even at all. I was referring to the whole blog response so far, and my fear of what is to come. My response was meant to be general.

Your points were merely distracting. Sure, Democrats can be corrupt, but you and I both know legislative control is relative. That point is misleading.

No matter what you say here, the Republicans are the corporate party - bought and paid for. You are the ones who sell out what is just for the majority of working Americans. Once again, it's a fact. Live with it.

Overall, I find this whole debate silly. My central point is still true. Propaganda led by corporate shills is still ruining politics and progress in America today. That is a fact. Again, live with the truth.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

"The big reform bills are now up against huge lies, swallowed by millions of Republicans and fools. Many are on this site."

There are only two of us here, Lisa and I. If you were not talking about me then who else? B.J.? Infidel?

That is a denial, not an apology.

You keep accusing me of "distracting" but my comments were directly related to your post. What do you mean by "distracting"?

How are Republicans stopping your reforms? They are out of power. The Democrats even have their 60 Senators. If you can not explain this than your post makes no sense, Sir.

4:56 PM  
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

I apologized before you attacked.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

You called me a liar. Then you said you were not referring to me. As you used the plural form and there are only two of us here you either meant me or one of the other commenters here who support you. That is being caught.

An apology is "Sorry. I should not have called you a liar.". This admits the wrong and says you are sorry. When you say you didn't mean me you are denying having done the wrong, when you clearly did. That is closer to spin and that is not allowed here.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

I attacked you? How? I asked questions.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

Can't you discuss issues without name calling and personal attacks?

You are quite frustrating that way.

5:09 PM  
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

I've already said enough. You never listen. You attack and try to confuse the issue. You distract and distort. You know what the hell I'm talking about, so stop playing dumb. So, fight amongst yourselves. To be honest, you and Lisa aren't worth the time and effort. Everybody on this blog (excpet for Mat) probably feels the same, even if they don't admit it.

You both never convince anybody on our side of anything, despite our best efforts to remain civil over time. You're both stuck in a fact-free rut and just like to argue for the hell of it. It's exhausting. Fine Machinist, you're not a liar. Is that good enough for you? It better be, because that's all you get. Now I will withdraw from this debate before it gets too stupid for words. Come to think of it, it's too late.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

Thank you for the retraction. I am careful of my reputation. I don't lie.

5:15 PM  
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

Btw Machinist, I wasn't always referring to you. I was speaking to both of you.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Machinist said...

I see I've been put into moderation. That says a lot.

All you had to do was ask me to leave. I'm not a troll.

Good day.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I AM MODERATING ALL COMMENTS TO ALL POST FROM THIS POINT FORWARD. CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF THIS IS A PRIVATELY OWNED AND OPERATED WEBSITE. THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aww Matt you are a party pooper,lol!

Lisa

6:46 PM  
Blogger B.J. said...

Michael:

Excellent post!

We can start with campaign finance reform.

After that we can press Congress for a new law on the books.

Did you know that a federal court ruled that Fox News can legally lie to its viewers?

“In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.”

Source: Project Censored, Sonoma State University

How about a law that states: “In order to maintain freedom of speech and freedom of the press, news outlets cannot lie to the American people.”

That’s a start.

BJ

2:24 AM  
Blogger B.J. said...

“it's been proven eventually we will all be put on the government plan”

Yes, Lisa, it’s called Medicare.

For injured veterans, it’s called veteran’s benefits.

I am amazed at how you’re steeped in all the propaganda about this legislation.

You really should seek out more sources of information about healthcare reform.

BJ

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Infidel753 said...

And here we see how trolling differs from real discussion or debate. The purpose of this kind of trolling is to shut down discussion by turning the comments thread into an argument about who said what about whom and what exactly they meant by it. Once that happens, discussion of the actual topic of the posting becomes almost impossible.

It's no wonder that more and more bloggers have found comment moderation to be necessary.

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse me, you don't own the website, Google does, including it's contents. Read the fine print.
Edward Peters
NYC

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Jason said...

This is a great site that you have here. I have a debate site myself and I would like to exchange links with you. We need to stick together. Let me know. Jason

12:27 PM  

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