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  1. Fake Social Media Since we have a long thread on Fake News here on OL, I believe, given recent events, that here in the persuasion section we need a thread on Fake Social Media. There will be long analyses coming, but for now, I want to use a transcript of something Rush Limbaugh said earlier today to kick this off. Xi Jinping Sends Message to Apple From the transcript (my bold at the end): Add this to the fact that all of these big tech companies were absolutely sure Hillary Clinton was going to win the presidency and thus, the, would be privy to massive influence in the government and lots of juicy government contracts. So they stuffed their employee staffs with thousands and thousands of hardcore Clinton supporters. And you get the mess we have today. I think the Fake Social Media sites are going to go down the tubes before too long. They banked hard on the globalist model where they outsourced their costs for slave-level labor (and other inputs) in developing countries and kept the profits from markets in richer countries. So now they are trying to save themselves by acting like authoritarians. This will not end well. I want to discuss this further and many other things, but there are too many issues for this opening post. So I will save them for later in the thread. Enjoy, because this is going to be an eye-opener if you don't grok just how bad the Fake Social Media has gotten. I'm going to give you some of the addiction algorithms and everything. Meanwhile, think about US companies becoming Chinese, including vast parts of the US government, and see if that feels like a good idea to you. Michael
  2. Fake News Let's see if this thread gets some traction. It is dedicated to all the fake news that is fit to publish. Let's start with Mika over at MSNBC for a mission statement, shall we? From Zero Hedge: MSNBC Anchor: "Our Job" Is To "Control Exactly What People Think" Michael EDIT: The fake news media constantly concocts fake hate crimes, or spins normal crimes into hate crimes, and I want an easy to find where people can source these incidents without plowing through a lot of propaganda. The opening post of the Fake News thread seems as good a place as any. So here is the gem of a site I just found. To quote from the site, it's a "database of the false reports of 'hate crimes' committed in the USA": Fake Hate Crimes I might add to this as I discover more. If anyone needs this information for research (like for articles, videos, memes, etc.), please bookmark the site or this page. Michael
  3. Weird News about Ayn Rand and Objectivism I was going to open a new section on OL for this idea, but this thread in this section serves perfectly. I don't know if you have noticed, but I have seen lots of new stories in the mainstream fake news media about Rand popping up. Like most news stories on Rand, there are plenty of howlers of disinformation and inaccuracies. But I wondered if we could look at them and extract a point or two of legitimate criticism. Or point to a mainstream narrative. Or just laugh at some stupidity or other in them. I wasn't interested in doing a point-by-point rebuttal or anything in depth. Just by being included in this thread (at least when I do the including), you should automatically assume that, by default, Rand and her ideas will not be correctly addressed. Self-satisfied propagandists don't do that. Ever. So assume they are wrong as your starting position. There. That saves a lot of time. But, if making short pithy observations on these articles is the standard procedure, highlighting this or that in these weird news articles might be fun. Once I realized these things are actually read in the culture and believed as accurate, I thought this approach was a great idea. I don't want to be a fly swatter as Nietzsche said. But do you remember an infomercial about a salt gun for killing flies? Zap! And there goes a fly. That's what this thread is. So here goes. I will start with three. Please feel free to add your own if you like this idea. When Nora Ephron Eviscerated Ayn Rand In The New York Times by Talya Zax, March 27, 2018, Forward Zax dug up an article Nora Ephron wrote in The New York Times Book Review, May 5, 1968. Zax apparently thought Harry meeting Sally meeting Howard Roark was a funny idea, so she did an article of her own about it. Here are a few excerpts that speak for themselves (both for Zax and Ephron). All right, all right, that's enough of that. We can't have young men going around reading the book, then thinking rape is a form of courtship for Incels, can we? (Doesn't the Social Justice Warrior perspective get tiring? They can manage to start an interesting point, but then they get outright dopey about it. This makes me want to give some of them a hug and say, "There, there. It's going to be all right." ) On to the next paragon of sophisticated wisdom. Right-wingers finally got their Ayn Rand hero as president — and it's this guy by Amanda Marcotte, October 11, 2019, Salon Marcotte, of course, means President Trump. The article isn't worth reading unless you like typical braindead elitist snark. Here's an example: But the end is interesting: Idiot snoots like Marcotte would never look at President Trump's vast number of major achievements and call them achievements. Then again, she would not call Atlas Shrugged or anything done by Rand an achievement, either. But isn't it something that she can see the Trump-Rand connection whereas the Guardians of Official Objectivism over at ARI can't or won't see it? She knows her intellectual enemy. And it ain't the ARI gurus. All that snark in the article shows she is scared to death of Rand and Trump. The ARI folks should check that premise and see what is right in front of their noses that they are missing. For the final round, we have: The Last of the Ayn Rand Acolytes This year's Objectivist Conference revealed that her cult of hyper-capitalism has a major recruiting problem: All the young people want to be socialists! By Alexander Sammon, August 14, 2019, The New Republic Who is the last person on earth who could give an objective report on an Objectivist conference? How about a leftie elitist from The New Republic? And that's exactly what we get with Sammon. The event was the ARI conference in June in Cleveland, Ohio. I am a huge supporter of Nathaniel Branden, but the biggest howler in this article gave him a bit more credit than it should have. Sammon is discussing Atlas Shrugged: Nathaniel is the reason people bought Atlas Shrugged and read it? Really? Dayaamm! Where do people like this Sammon dude come from? Don't they know anything at all about the people they report on? Double dayaamm! What's the best way to drive an ARI fundie up the wall bellowing in rage? (Not all people at ARI, merely the fundies.) I can't think of anything more effective than attributing NB with the credit for Atlas Shrugged's success and meaning it. What's worse, this socialist idiot, Sammon, from his lofty perch at the top of his nose, would have loved this effect on the true believers at ARI if he had been aware of it. But from his writing, he was obviously oblivious. What a dope. (How I love it when the sanctimonious are idiots. ) You can read the the article if you want to torture yourself. It's really awful due to the high number of basic errors. But I have to mention one other thing this hard-hitting no-holds-barred reporter did to expose the evils of the Objectivist world. Sammon wanted to report on a lecture, but he had a time conflict between three different ones. He had to make a choice on which lecture to report on as typical of the Randian world. Did he go to “Logic: The Cashing-In Course”? Nope. How about “Duty as Anti-Morality”? Double nope. Sammon want for the gold. He wanted to mercilessly probe the depth's of Rand's cultural and philosophical appeal. So he chose “Appreciating Ayn Rand’s Tiddlywink Music.” I kid you not. A good chunk of this article is devoted to it. I suppose that's appropriate for his tiddlywink brain. Michael
  4. T, I know people have already figured out the following, but I think it needs to be said and repeated just like the mainstream fake news repeats shit. Note that China always came out ahead in international trade by lying and cheating mixed with deals that looked orthodox on the surface. Everyone called this a "new form of capitalism" and marveled how China was adapting to free markets. China needs economic dominance to take over the world, seeing that everything communism-wise aims at ruling all of mankind. That's why it lies and cheats. China signed a new trade deal and tried to lie and cheat when the time came to honor it. But this time, it couldn't pull off the shady stuff. Now China is now losing billions of dollars each year compared to former years just to stay in the international trade game. China is not amused at losing money. China hates losing money. China hates losing power over other countries. Suddenly, at the very moment this sinks in for China's rulers, the coronavirus appeared out of China and economies tanked in countries the world over because they shut down to contain the plague. China is still open for business and keeps knocking on doors. Nice coincidence, huh? In China's "new form of capitalism," I guess this is called creative destruction. Michael
  5. This recent video interview between Patrick Howley and Dr. Judy Miklovits was just banned on YouTube. Dr. Judy Miklovits is the author of the current bestselling Plague of Corruption that has the elitist authoritarians wound up in a pile of emotional spaghetti. Both of these people are huge thorns in the side of the current mainstream "control the narrative" elitists. Just click on the image below and it will take you to the BitChute copy of the video where all you have to do is click the play button to see it. There are many disturbing things in this interview. I don't know enough to make claims with certainty, but there is a lot that makes sense to me in this interview. The most disturbing thing of all, though, is that the fake news mainstream culture wants these voices shut down, not just debated or debunked. If the authoritarians were so sure these people are kooks, why don't they trust the general public to hear their ideas? Hmmmmmm?... Free speech and all... Maybe it's because the general public may not be so attuned to scientific jargon, but most people are pretty good at spotting a con, especially once it has been pointed out to them, and even more especially by credentialed people who are attuned to scientific jargon. Michael
  6. The antitrust stuff against tech giants is coming whether anyone likes it or not. But what were they thinking? It wasn't enough to shut down conservative voices, they are shutting down medical experts in the middle of a national emergency for disagreeing with the fake news media "controlled narrative." Michael
  7. I learned a new term for a kind of fake news I have been calling "trading up the chain" (a term I got from Ryan Holiday's book, Trust Me, I'm Lying). The new term is in yesterday's article below by Jonathan Turley: Andrew McCabe’s Bizarre CNN Interview First a little context from the article: Turley gives plenty of examples and you can read them in the article. But what is the new term I learned? Echo journalism. This is when one does not research a story but merely echoes what someone else wrote and presents it as news. But there's a category Turley mentions that, for those of us who are pissed about fake news, find especially obnoxious. Let him say it: Michael
  8. Here, let me take a swing at Journo's article to show that this is what they still do. Here's the link again. The title is called: "Amid Pandemic, The Price of Trump’s War on Truth" by Elan Journo and it's dated April 13, 2020. So let's do it. Journo: Did anyone catch that link on the word "warned"? It goes to a Washington Post article, one of those articles with 4 different authors (Shane Harris, Greg Miller, Josh Dawsey and Ellen Nakashima), a tactic used for CYA and to give the impression that important serious work was done--so important and serious, one person alone couldn't be assigned such momentous responsibility . And guess who the sources mentioned for the facts in the article are? You guessed it. Mr. And Ms. No-Names. Look here--quoted directly from the article: This is where Journo got his information. There are more of the same he provided in the article. I recall a scene in Atlas Shrugged where Eddie Willers was criticizing in horror a press release by the State Science Institute. The very things he said about that press release can be said about mainstream fake news articles these days. Take a look at what I bolded below. It is exactly the form used in the WaPo article Journo used for his information (see these phrases taken directly from the article: "may not have been..." "might have..." "could require..." and so on). Except this crap is compounded and peppered with statements of fact no one can verify because they are provided by unknown sources. In other words, there are speculations amid just plain made up shit. Rand gives merely a morally reprehensible example below. Imagine what she would have thought of today's press reports where outright fabrications are constantly provided by unnamed sources. The excerpt starts with Dagny. That is the epistemology behind the information where Journo gets his facts. I mean, why do you think you think? Right? With Journo accepting unnamed sources that provide made up shit as solid information, why does he think he thinks? He doesn't. That's why. He's believes all this on faith. He has to. There's nothing rational present in it. There are no conceptual referents that readers can look at. The conceptual referents are allegations from what unnamed people say. But wait! There's more! And it's worse. In that excerpt from Journo, in his own words, he said: "... while intelligence agencies and health officials warned the Trump administration about a looming crisis..." That sounds serious. So it's reasonable to ask, what intelligence agencies? Which health officials? Journo doesn't say. I mean, why should he? For those who agree with him, no explanation is needed. For those who don't, none is possible. Right? He didn't say that, but that's the way he treated it. At least he linked to a WaPo article that does say who those intelligence agencies and health officials are... kinda. And kinda doesn't. After all, we know who they are, unless we don't, and they said those dire warnings because unnamed people told four whole reporters from the Washington Post they did. Bah... That's Objectivism? Rand would have been proud of Journo, huh? I want to detail some of the other things in Journo's article, but as you can see, just doing one is a bit of work. However, I can mention a few other beauties where that kind of rebuttal is simple to do. However, this is just as exciting as killing a swarm of flies with a fly-swatter. So I'll just mention a few rather than go deep on them. Journo uses the term "Trump's war on truth." This is a buzz-phrase taken directly from the anti-Trump fake news media. The gist of the rebuttal would be that this phrase "war on truth" is used for Trump's hyperbole and rhetoric while the people who use that phrase constantly serve up made up shit. In other words, they wage their own war on truth with fabrications to attack what they call Trump's war on truth (meaning his hyperbole and rhetoric.) Journo mind-reads Trump supporters, then treats his mind-reading as fact. Then uses that to condemn them. Do I really need to say what the rebuttal would be for that? Journo's concern is not with the actions President Trump has performed re the coronavirus. He's only concerned with what Trump said. Take a look at his examples. The rebuttal would be to show Journo's blanking out of facts (President Trump's deeds) on a massive scale while treating Trump's hyperbole and rhetoric as fact. And even worse, he blamed the severity of the COVID-19 problem on Trump's words, which, incidentally, he often takes out of context. And even worser worse, he acknowledged that Trump supporters know that Trump's hyperbole and rhetoric are hyperbole and rhetoric. And then he bashed Trump's supporters for knowing that. (Journo apparently doesn't like Trump's hyperbole and rhetoric as he writes an article of nothing but his own hyperbole and rhetoric based on sources and information that provide little more than spin and made-up shit.) I'm not even going to delve into how the impeachment hogged the press, government, and so on right at the time Journo blames Trump for not doing things according to his Monday morning quarterbacking that might have... that could have... etc. etc. etc. There's more, hell I could go on for quite a while and still not cover it all, but that's enough for now. That's why I am harsh on him. He uses Ayn Rand's words to justify left-wing authoritarian crap and propaganda so he can use that to attack Trump. Why? That's a great question. I don't want to pick a fight with the ARI fundies, but goddamit, if in their boneheaded universe, they want to constantly call Trump supporters a bunch of names right as President Trump is fixing a whole lot of evil they tolerate and sanction as normal, they are going to get it right back when someone like me gets fed up with their bullshit. The best thing they can do right now is get out of the way. Oh, they can talk. Free speech and all. But they really should let people who fix problems fix them instead of trying to get in the way by posturing as people who know better--basing their posturings on authoritarian talking points that would have made Ayn Rand sick. In fact, if we make changes for different world events and boil those talking points down to fundamentals, they did make her sick when she was alive. And she wrote reams about them. The good news is, in reality terms, they are not in the way at all. In terms of hyperbole and rhetoric, they get me riled, but in terms of deeds, they are not relevant. The problems are being fixed. Don't believe me? See the 141 pages (so far) on the White House website called: Presidential Actions Michael
  9. The following is exactly what has bothered me on a visceral level about fake news since the beginning. It's not the lies (we deal with liars every day). It's the people who are lying, know they are lying, and despite that, believe their own lies. My lizard brain doesn't know how to process that when I encounter it and it makes me feel like the bottom fell out of my stomach. Uncanny valley indeed. The feeling is not one of making space for hyperbole like when Rand called certain people subhuman. It's looking at someone and feeling--as true--that they are not quite human even though they appear to be. That's what I observe and feel when I watch most of the mainstream news media these days. It's creepy. Michael
  10. Fake news. CBS is working overtime to produce one fake story after another. It was busted just the other day using video of Italy in a report on NYC hospitals. I wonder which billionaire's ass it is kissing. Like I said, fake news: Go to that Twitter thread and all the info is there. Michael
  11. "Are you overwhelmed at the amount, contradictions, and craziness of all the information coming at you in this age of social media and twenty-four-hour news cycles? Fake News, Propaganda, and Plain Old Lies will show you how to identify deceptive information as well as how to seek out the most trustworthy information in order to inform decision making in your personal, academic, professional, and civic lives. • Learn how to identify the alarm bells that signal untrustworthy information. • Understand how to tell when statistics can be trusted and when they are being used to deceive. • Inoculate yourself against the logical fallacies that can mislead even the brightest among us." The author of the book is Donald A Barclay, librarian, who gave an interview to Publisher's Weekly last September. This excerpt mirrors a part of the preface, which I will dictate and post below. Dude sounds like a dang Objectivist here, if a plodder ... -- cross-linking here to a dedicated Front Porch topic thread "Fake News," and to a "fake news" OL-internal-search page of this blog, "Friends and Foes." There are at this moment 732 items in the "Fake News" phrase search returns of the whole of the Objectivist Living community. The subtitle to Barclay's book is "How to Find Trustworthy Information in the Digital Age."
  12. Peter, People don't do conspiracies out in the open (except in America where certain conspirators have a complicit press and this still leaves me with jaw dropping ). One characteristic of a conspiracy is that it is meant to be hidden until the right moment. That's by definition. So how can one demand observed fact about something hidden? One has to dig and expose. The idea that a suspicion is loopy just because you can't see who is doing the bad stuff is a very dangerous one. You can't see a cancer cell inside you with your eyes alone. Not even doctors can. And if you ignore it, it will kill you. I don't know if you ever read some posts I made about a professor in Florida--I forget his name right now. He's a leftie. He tracked down where the term "conspiracy theory" came from. And he holds conferences at the university level where "peer reviewed" material is presented about the different conspiracies that have turned out to be true. The term "conspiracy theory" came from the CIA to quell the unrest that happened, both in America and abroad, after Kennedy got shot and the Warren commission issued it's lame report. People were having a fit in public--the press, radio, TV, speeches, and so on. There are copies of a memo by the CIA at the time. It is available to anyone who wants to see it. The CIA circulated it to the press offices and the Embassies explaining how to discredit public doubters of the Warren Report or the public version of the Kennedy assassination by smearing them as loopy conspiracy nuts. Before that time, "conspiracy theory" was a phrase used to describe serious musings on events. I can't think of an example from that time off the top of my head, but the later economic term "trickle down theory" has the kind of emotional load "conspiracy theory" used to have. Nobody today thinks a person espousing the "trickle down theory" is a flaming kook. Instead, they think the person is serious even when they disagree. Before the CIA did that little masterpiece of persuasion engineering to shut down discussion of speculations, people going overboard on a conspiracy were generally linked to the theory they espoused. For example, "red baiters" or "McCarthyites." Not even the John Birch Society people back then were called "conspiracy theorists." Lance deHaven-Smith Here... I just looked and found where I wrote about my man. The professor's name is Lance deHaven-Smith, Professor Emeritus at Florida State University. Here's a great start of a reading list if you ever get interested in historical conspiracies that were not believed at the time, but ended up being true: Also, here is a little more on Lance deHaven-Smith. First a post by William (with the snark against those who think differently than him, mostly meaning Trump supporters, removed). He posted a very good video of Lance deHaven-Smith in a 2013 talk. Then a response by me that gives some more nutshell information on Lance deHaven-Smith: I know I can dig up a lot more if I get going. But that's enough to make my point--that taking seriously a potential conspiracy is not the same thing as being batshit crazy. (Besides, this is getting so long, I'm not sure you will read it all. ) Asymmetrical Warfare Now that the military has openly embraced what it calls asymmetrical warfare, you can find paper after paper published by the military on conspiracy theories in the original meaning of the term. QAnon is a phenomenon that has all the marks of such asymmetrical warfare. It is intentionally designed to attract the fringe and nonfringe alike, that is, the way this project has unfolded, it is a way to inject narratives into the mainstream that are different than the ones offered but the fake news media, narratives that discredit the elitist mainstream culture. It's been a resounding success in that regard. Just think of how this has led to Epstein's fall--before, nobody believed he was trafficking in pedophilia among the superpowerful, but now everyone says he was. And he got dead and croaked and suicided as part of the show. Not even a fifty million dollar special counsel investigation into the idea that Russians elected Donald Trump through covert means worked. Nor an impeachment. Don't forget, the mainstream press deployed everything they had to support the narratives behind that investigation and impeachment, both during the leading up phase and after both fizzled. The fake news mainstream culture did this for over three years, day in and day out. Part of the reason these efforts didn't take is that the narratives pushed by the mainstream culture were not accepted by the general population. One of the reasons this happened was QAnon's skillful injection of counternarratives and doubt into the general population at places the mainstream fake news culture did not control. Back when you and I were young, this would not have been possible since there were only three nationwide TV stations, radio was mostly pop tunes and religion, and the printed press carried the day. The Internet ended that monopoly on controlling the narrative by the few. One day, after all this blows over, it will be very interesting to look at and study all the different techniques deployed on both sides. I have already identified a few, but it's still too early to write anything definitive about it. (That goes for me and others.) I'm still--we're still--observing--still gathering conceptual referents so to speak--since important history is unfolding right in front of us and hasn't wound up. Michael
  13. Although this is not humor per se, the way Bill Maher gaslighted himself and crashed and burned before Dan Crenshaw's calm facts is pretty funny. The expressions on his face when Dan speaks is priceless. What's even funnier is that a leftie fan of Maher, Tim Pool, caught it and gave him an out that's worse for Maher than if he were simply bullshitting. Tim says Maher only relies on news that has become rotten, meaning that Maher is in a bubble of fake news these days. He means that Maher's problem is not the dark, but that his eyes are closed. (This is probably not the best metaphor for an interview with Dan Crenshaw. ) Tim doesn't use the phrase true believer, but that's what he thinks Maher is nowadays. And the result is that Maher gaslights himself, so much so that he provides some funny facial expressions (like in the video above) when he encounters truth he groks, but still doesn't want to because he can't trust his mind anymore. Michael
  14. This one is extremely important. There is more than the coronavirus these days. The pandemic news virus of anonymous sources has infected Tucker. First, look at the video below. Notice that endorsement from Donald Trump Jr. That's one hell of an endorsement (and it is deserved for the most part). I fully agree with Donald Trump Jr. about the severity of the issue Tucker talks about. To make sure this is available to those who only like to read and not watch videos, here is the transcript: Now here is the rub. Look at the following phrases in Tucker's report (and these are not the only ones, just the most glaring): Who the hell are these people? Tucker's report rocks, so much so that President Trump's oldest son claims: "Its likely the most important couple minutes of TV to ever effect you." And he asks people to retweet it. For him to post that, we all know President Trump is going to see it. So why does Tucker do this crap? It mars his report and does not bode well for the future, meaning I hope to hell Tucker does not develop this into a habit. If he does, his credibility will go the way of CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo and the like, i.e., into the toilet. President Trump sporadically complains about using anonymous sources. Just yesterday he tweeted: I fully agree with him. As for Tucker, I mostly agree with what he presented. I could fully agree with him--I really like him, but he's now fudging. So I can only "mostly agree" with him. But the China issue is too important for "mostly," and it's definitely too important to fudge with bullshit fake news practices. So I wish Tucker would use the higher journalistic standards of President Trump. Michael
  15. Ellen, Protection of sources is the argument always given by the fabricators to deflect from dealing with the issue of deception. (I'm not saying you are deceiving. I'm using this as a prompt to shed light on the propaganda technique.) Do you remember Rand's notion of floating abstraction? This is an abstraction without any tangible referent, but presented as if it has referents. It looks like a concept and mimics a concept in how people talk to each other, but it doesn't have the substance of a concept, that is, something in reality or, at least, reality-based. The biggest example of a floating abstraction she gave is the concept of God. (I don't want to get into a theological discussion about the existence of God. Let's just say for this post that for those who have had deep religious experiences, their referent for God comes from their memories of those experiences. Thus their idea of God is not a floating abstraction. They have something real they can point to, even if it's only something in their head left over from something they witnessed or experienced. For someone who has had no personal religious experience, the idea of God is a floating abstraction.) If you want to see how a concept of something real turns into a floating abstraction and gets injected into the mainstream, the way the anonymous sources argument is always framed is how. Notice what is missing: an actual source people can perceive. They get this source second hand, not first hand. After that, notice the bait and switch. Let me argue by example for a minute. Suppose I'm a bad guy in the mainstream press who wants to get lies accepted by the public. I start by having actual sources with names and everything for the facts I present. After a while, I get a reputation for credibility. But life is complicated, so once in a while, I have sources who could be in peril if their identity becomes known. They told me something important I want to transmit to the public and I want people to know I am not making up anything. So I let people know I have sources I am protecting for that specific information. Up to here, it's all good. The majority of my sources are real people to the public and there are a few I can't disclose, but the audience takes my word for it they are real As time goes on, in my reporting I start to rely more and more on unnamed sources and less and less on actual sources. And I start ramping up the adjectives and qualifiers when I refer to unnamed sources to goose up an image in the minds of the audience. Instead of saying an insider told me something, I begin to laud my unnamed people as experts, officials, technicians, whistleblowers and so on. I claim they were at a meeting the audience knows took place, or on the phone line of a call audience knows happened, etc. And I increase their number so that, eventually, there are several groups of them I use per report. I even get cohorts to co-author my articles with me to increase the "thud" factor. (A thick book always looks more credible than a thin one. And "thud" is the sound a thick book makes when it lands on a table. ) Also, sin of all sins, I give out word-for-word quotes from my unnamed sources as if the audience knows who I am referring to. At that point I am simply making shit up. My audience thinks a real person gave a real quote when I fabricated both the person and the quote. And who is the audience to say otherwise? They have swallowed my anonymous source as a floating abstraction--an image they take just as seriously as something in reality they can point to. Based on that mentality, I can go whole hog and say, like Al Gore did, that 100% of the scientists agree about manmade climate change. "The scientists" is not a referent, it's an abstraction. If I can get enough juice and emotional load on how that term is used, it doesn't matter if a real scientist later pops up and says he doesn't agree. In the public mind, he may be a scientist, but he's not part of that 100% of scientists. If that sounds like a contradiction, that's because it is. And that's the way it is intended. Once I can get people to accept a floating abstraction, i.e., a word or phrase cut off from reality, as an existent, as something tangible, in the public mind, I can lead the people who swallowed it anywhere I wish after that. That's how the propaganda process unfolds in removing reality from a concept and this is pure poison. To be clear, I have no problem with a reporter keeping a source anonymous. But the way to report that is not to quote actual words from an anonymous source in a tone of factual certainty. A big honking qualifier has to be attached. Anonymity is a context, not an existent. I agree with you that Tucker's anonymous sources probably exist. But there is no excuse for him writing something like this: Now that Tucker has established a ghost as his source, he lets the ghost talk. And then he accepts the ghost's words as fact. Look at what he said right after. Epistemologically, this is smack dab in the middle of Gore's "100% or all scientists" territory. Here is a different way to put it, one that is far more responsible truth-wise. The people behind the scenes we talked to said the American intelligence gathering agencies almost unanimously agree that COVID-19 emerged from a lab in Wuhan. Almost unanimous. If our sources are correct and we believe they are, that's a phrase almost never used to describe any conclusion coming out of the intel community. Notice that "we believe" is not presented as a metaphysical fact, but the tone of certainty remains. Also, there is no direct quote doing it that way. Nor is there any hyperbole loaded onto the source to deflect from the fact that the audience can't determine who is talking. In short, there is no ghost being passed off as a talking head. There is no Mr. or Ms. Someone in a Position to Know. Widespread deception never comes in a statement or gotcha. It is set up, carried forward and built incrementally--like a product on a factory assembly line--until The Big Lie comes out the end. Here's a rule of thumb for fake news. The more direct quotes from anonymous sources are used, the more you can be sure that the author is making shit up. This is why I'm pissed Tucker is starting to do this. It's like watching a friend take a hit off a crack pipe. I know what comes later. Michael
  16. If you worry about President Trump's support for the 2020 election, that is, if you are a Trump hater and you worry it is too strong, and if you are a Trump supporter and worry it is waning, the following video should make you remember something. The fake news mainstream media does not believe people like Vernon Jones exist in high numbers. But they do. Michael
  17. Qua China they basically did the right thing qua the virus. Because they didn't tell the world the rest of us got run over by ignorance and the Internet and MSN fake news hysteria shuttling down the economy. People are scared of the virus most will be exposed to regardless of flattening the curve with Social Distancing. The CCP if not China itself will end up paying the biggest price for this fiasco as it's bad economy corrodes the totalitarian Leninist political structure. Qua ideology communism/liberalism/progressivism is dead. It's chickens running around with their heads cut off. --Brant that goes back to the late 1960s
  18. The article "Cognitive Ability and Vulnerability to Fake News" appeared at the Scientific American website on February 6th. Its subheadline is "Researchers identify a major risk factor for pernicious effects of misinformation." The article makes for interesting reading, whether you consider 'fake news' a classifier for broad swaths of the information landscape, or whether you consider 'fake news' to be particular items that are inaccurate, infused with partisan bias, subject to grotesque editorial demands, or otherwise not adequate to your needs. Excerpts: ... you can guess what happened next. If you seek verity, verily you must verify ... To that end, that of critical appraisal, one dear to the heart of all Objectivish people, the magazine has another useful (or familiar) set of verification rules of thumb: Six Tips for Identifying Fake News -- this is presented at the site as an MP3 sound file, which I link to here: Note on audio files: the code to insert an audio file is dead easy if you have a little knowledge of HTML. Any modern browser will return a little player like that above -- given the code format below. All you need to do is make sure the file to be played is MP3, the web standard. <audio controls src=""> -- to insert similar audio file code on OL in your edit box, click on the "Source" button up under "Content" at the top of the edit box. This reveals the underlying HTML.
  19. Here's Rush Limbaugh earlier today: Dr. Drew Pinsky Debunks the Fake Coronavirus News Here Pinsky is in his own words. Look. I can get just as afraid as the next person about a deadly disease, but when I hear warnings from the fake news toadies and those warnings are nothing more than political propaganda of the "muh Russians!" stripe, and I see people freaking out about their warnings, I want to leave the human race. I never realized how easy it was to manipulate masses of people through panic. I knew fear was a great tool for mass manipulation, but I never knew how easy it was to wield it. All you need is a small hook and, if the hook is real even though it is tiny, you can blow it up to spread panic worldwide if you know how. Those fake news people know how and they are despicable. They don't care about you and they don't care about the coronavirus. They want their power and they love seeing people run around in circles with them cracking the whip. Michael
  20. It's been a while since I've posted on this thread. Let's see how the fake news media is doing. Below we have a major anchor of MSNBC and an Editorial Board Member of the New York Times trying to do math. Man, that's just lame... And here I thought the fake news media was fake because it was a bunch of toadies for evil power mongers. Instead, these people are as dumb as a bowling ball on a pool table. Michael
  21. Very briefly, sir, do not debate the Democrat candidate. It will be "moderated" by fake news Democrats who will attack you viciously and give your opponent every privilege and honor, a trap to goad you into justifiable anger. More importantly, you should say that Democrats are despicable, unqualified to debate. People can vote for them. Fake news can praise them and promote their fitness for office. You don't have to appear on stage as an "equal." Screw them. The only debate worth considering is a Lincoln-Douglas smackdown, no moderators. Let the Democrat candidate speak first, maybe twenty minutes or so, then ignore her. Wash, rinse, repeat for two hours in a ticketed venue with good acoustics, perhaps in Florida. Tickets by lottery. Press gallery limited to camera operators, no journalists. Only one debate event. No "apple box" for Bloomberg if he's the Democrat candidate. Midget Ross Perot was dignified enough to stand on his own two feet, a head shorter than Clinton and Bush. Unfortunately, I don't think you'll be challenged by Bloomberg. Civil strife in Milwaukee will push Michelle Obama forward in a badly disrupted Democrat nominating farce. I don't think you can beat Michelle, so it behooves you to consider the numerous blessings of expat private life. You served your country at a time of historic malaise, made it possible for men to remember the meaning of liberty and justice, sadly too little too late. Not your fault. I blame Paul Ryan, a seething Deep State, felonious Obama officials, and the fake news Establishment. Screw them. You fought like hell. Now it's time to spend more time with Barron and Melania, and enjoy every day of your honorable golden years. If you get bored, build something. .
  22. New "Q" drop today (after "10 Days of Darkness"), relating to the coronavirus AND Biden's status as frontrunner (and timed JUST as it was announced that Bernie Sanders dropped out, today): 3909 New: Title TBD Q!!Hs1Jq13jV68 Apr 2020 - 12:02:45 PM Read in order. 1. 2. 3. Why did WHO make several strong recommendation NOT TO impose a travel ban? Why did select [D] govs ban the use of hydroxychloroquine [key]? Why does FAKE NEWS push anti-hydroxychloroquine [fear tactics re: use]? Why was impeachment pushed through H fast? [did they count on R’s blocking new witnesses?] Time sensitive? Why? When did [BIDEN] become the front runner? Why was this critically important? What happened directly after? WHO BENEFITS THE MOST? EVERYTHING AT STAKE. When everything else FAILED…. DO YOU ATTEMPT TO CHEAT? Welcome to the [D][People’s Republic of China] party. The Silent War continues.. [6+] Q
  23. Boy, the Bill Kristol crowd (meaning The Bulwark, which is nothing but leftovers from The Weekly Standard that Krystol ran into the ground) is not amused at Rush Limbaugh, especially for his influence in stopping the power grab of the elitists during this coronavirus thing. These idiots need to scare the shit out of everyone so the population will clamor for a savior (which will be supplied by their old-boys network, or so they plan). Rush is helping his audience, which is huge, to keep from being scared shitless, at least that's what these inept bad guys think, so they are going hard after him right now. The Malicious Irresponsibility of Rush Limbaugh This vile, foolish man has blood on his hands. by Jonathan V. Last The Bulwark April 2, 2020 I don't accept the premise of elitist time-travel. I don't believe Last, Krystol or any of those cronies in the present can transport themselves back in time and make an entire civilization do something different about a medical emergency by warning them of specific conservative voices. And then time-travel back to the present, claim that outcome as fact, then berate specific people for not allowing it to come to pass. To be clear, the premise of Last's article is that the coronavirus pandemic is going to be really really really awful right now and in the near future because, a few months ago, certain conservatives (like Rush Limbaugh) lulled Americans into not thinking the threat was serious. To quote Jonathan Last about Rush: he has, "... blood on his hands." But supposing I were to accept that premise, that Americans were so distracted by certain conservatives a few months ago, they let a pandemic into America and, because of that, people will die!!!!! If I were to accept that, I would say that their constant bombardment of President Trump and his supporters--to the exclusion of practically anything else--during the impeachment flop was such a distraction. I don't recall Last or Krystol talking about the coronavirus at the time they are now claiming Rush hypnotized America. I do recall them yapping nonstop about impeaching President Trump. But the virus was there. So, using the premise Last used to judge Rush, that would mean Last himself has blood on his hands. But I don't accept that premise. What is really going on is that Rush has a loyal audience just like President Trump has a loyal support base. And these bases are growing. The bond between these men and their followers is made of human nature stuff, the hearts and the minds of independent individuals who see themselves reflected in these men, not the covert manipulation the Last and Krystol crowd constantly prefer. What's more, that whole gang that can't shoot straight has been leaking audience like a sieve, not to mention the power and influence they once held. Rush thinks bad guys (the elitist establishment, especially the Democrats) are using everything in their power to gin up this coronavirus situation for a power grab, then use it to destroy Trump, the free market and the American way of life (to replace it all with globalism). Ironically, Last's article is a perfect example that validates Rush's premise. This article is one more effort to influence people to ignore their strengths and, thus, destroy their way of life. Now here's what's going to happen, or so I predict. Jonathan Last, Bill Krystol & Co. will have the same result going after Rush Limbaugh they did going after Donald Trump. That is, they are going to fall flat on their faces. And they will lose even more audience and influence than they imagine possible. They are the essence of fake news on the conservative side. And people see it. Michael
  24. At this point, should it really need a tweet from the President for the obvious to sink in? But apparently, it does. I've been bitching about anonymous news sources for years here on OL. There are people, people right here in O-Land, who accept news based on anonymous sources as the equivalent of proven fact. Here is one example by Onkar Ghate from a couple of months ago that I am going to get to one day. (I first saw it in a Facebook group about Ayn Rand here, which is given right now as a link reference for when I later dig into this mess.) Why Ayn Rand Would Have Despised a President Trump Ghate is an ARI dude. As he prances and preens in his article as a proponent of reason, he teaches us about the "anti-intellectual mentality" of Trump by regurgitating a slew of the fake news media talking points whole--most of which were supported (when published and since) by nothing but anonymous sources. In Ghate's article, he had no concern for truth, verification, etc., of anything if it was anti-Trump. And this crap is presented as what Ayn Rand would have thought. This is presented as the way Ayn Rand would have used her brain. What an epistemological mess. And, what's worse, Onkar Ghate is not a stupid man. As an ARI insider, he, to me, in this article is proof that focus on Objectivism by itself does not guarantee that a person will use his or her mind to identify something correctly. Before I do a real job on this article, here's one example of inexcusably sloppy sourcing by Ghate (and this example doesn't even rely on anonymous sources--it's just flat out false). I mean, I'm blasting the guy, so I have to let you, with at least one example from the article, that I have the goods and am not just trolling him. Ghate said Trump whitewashed "the neo-Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville." That's Ghate's phrase in the article. It refers to Trump's statement in 2017 that he thought there were many fine people on both sides. Just a few seconds after he made that statement, he said: "I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally." The fake news media left that out as they ran a propaganda campaign in overdrive claiming he praised racists and neo-Nazis. But you can see a video clip of President Trump saying the words I quoted here, so anyone can see the transcript is correct. President Trump condemned the neo-Nazis and white nationalists, but the fake news press reported that he supported them or "whitewashed" them. And Ghate swallowed that crap whole without even thinking of looking it up. As an aside, Scott Adams had a field day discussing this propaganda hoax. Here's just one discussion of his, among many, giving the transcript and all: The “Fine People” Hoax Funnel. What do you call a culture where nobody minds that almost all political news sources are anonymous and the news is often presented in the mainstream as the exact opposite of what happened? The only new name I can come up with is Gossip Culture, but Fake News Media Culture works well, too. That's what we are in. And that includes the sanction of this Gossip Culture by the brainiacs of integrity at ARI since they rely on it, rather then on their own minds, for their facts. Ghate certainly did. And, like I said, there is plenty more where that came from--in Ghate's article alone. I wonder what Ayn Rand would have thought about people using anonymous sources and false reporting--in her name--to back up an ongoing string of debunked claims... I imagine she would have thought she was back in Communist Russia. Michael
  25. TF, Long time no see. On the other end of the "reasonable" spectrum about fake news I sense you are trying for in your post, you might want to look at Hoaxed produced by Mike Cernovich. It's on Amazon Prime or iTunes. Here's a review by Will Chamberlain: Film Review: ‘Hoaxed’ From the start of the review: Like or hate Cernovich, the movie is good. And the interviews cover topics that go much deeper than the normal caricatures we get in the mainstream. To go metaphorical, in a gray world, black and white don't exist. In a black and white world, gray doesn't exist. In the real world, black, white and gray exist. And more. There's so much more: a full spectrum of colors. All anyone needs to do is look and magic happens. Michael