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Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking LogoImagine a world where every person had complete access to the truth
AND
had sufficient education to separate it from propaganda.
A goal of this site is to provide unbiased access to the truth. This section, in particular, is devoted to helping readers recognize the truth, in the midst of all the propaganda.

Nygaard Notes #511 | "The New American Way of War" in the Media

  • "The new American way of war" is but a new strategy in service to a very old goal, which is the maintenance of the global U.S. military hegemony that began after World War II and took on new life with the demise of its only perceived rival, the Soviet Union, 20 years ago.
  • Special Project | The Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, & Iran: Week of July 29

Jeff Nygaard, Nygaard Notes

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(July 23, 2012) Every once in a while a story will surface in the mass media that gives a hint—however deeply disguised or encoded—of the degree to which the United States is committed to an imperial stance in the world. Just such a story appeared in the New York Times of July 12th.

The headline at the top of page 7 that day read, "Base Afloat in Persian Gulf Shows New U.S. Way of War." It's never clear in the article itself what this "new way of war" might be, but if you've looked at some of the Pentagon's recent planning documents, you'll know what reporter Thom Shanker is talking about. I'll tell you a little bit of what he said, adding some of the missing context.

Full Story...

Related:

Special Project | The Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, & Iran: Week of July 29, David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • For decades beginning during the Cold War, US policy in the Islamic world has been aimed at suppressing secular reformist and leftist movements. Beginning with the CIA-engineered coup against a secular democratic reform government in Iran in 1953 (it was about oil), Washington has propped up dictators, coaching these regimes in the black arts of torture and mayhem against secular liberals and the left.
  • 7 New Items including:
    • Most likely to attack Iran
    • Statement of Veterans For Peace: The Solution to the Nuclear “Crisis” with Iran
    • Syria: NATO's Next "Humanitarian" War?
    • The Globalization of War: The “Military Roadmap” to World War III
    • The National Security Complex and You
    • NATO's Presence Does Not Benefit Afghan Women
    • Privatize the Empire
       

"Progressive" Journalism's Legacy of Deceit

  • Given the backdrop of progressive-left journalists’ lengthy and ardent opposition to the Bush-Cheney policies of Nazi-like atrocities and plunder, venues such as Democracy Now are poised to serve as platforms for disseminating the necessary disinformation to make the Obama administration’s color revolutions and "humanitarian" policy of military interventions seem palatable to the very audiences whose sensibilities are most opposed to violence and imperialism.
  • When War Is in the Air on PBS
  • NATO's Presence Does Not Benefit Afghan Women

James Tracy, Global Research

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

(Jul 22, 2012) Progressive-left media persist in acting as propaganda outlets for the US-NATO destabilization of Syria, thus placating a politically conscious audience that might otherwise be mobilized against acts of imperialism and violence. The historical record suggests how this is not the first time "Progressive publicists" were used to sell a war.

A recent report in the UK Guardian by Charlie Skelton explains that Western news outlets remain willing victims (or accomplices) in a propaganda campaign for US -NATO led Syrian intervention being carried out by skilled and well-financed public relations practitioners. According to Skelton, “the spokespeople, the ‘experts on Syria’, the ‘democracy activists’ … The people who ‘urge’ and ‘warn’ and ‘call for action’" against the Assad regime are themselves part of a sophisticated and well-heeled public relations effort to allow NATO forces to give Syria the same medicine administered to Libya in 2011. “They're selling the idea of military intervention and regime change,” Skelton reports.

Full story...

Related:

When War Is in the Air on PBS, Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

  • It'd be nice for discussions about launching a war to include some voices from outside those elite circles of Beltway insiders and Israeli political leaders–especially when the discussion is happening on public television.
  • PBS's Dishonest Iran Edit
  • How the Media Doesn't Give Peace a Chance

NATO's Presence Does Not Benefit Afghan Women, Jodie Evans, AlterNet

  • Amnesty International-USA's Executive director Suzanne Nossel appears to be taking a major human rights organization in an inhumane direction.
  • Why I Had to Challenge Amnesty International-USA's Claim
     

Nygaard Notes | #510: Health Care, and The Real Issue

  • We're living another chapter in the "Public Relations-ization of U.S. Culture," and it affects all of us, perhaps most of all those of us who are paying attention and who think we are "informed." We're the ones at which the Propaganda is directed. It's insidious, and we'd all better understand how it works, since it's changing hearts and minds right and left. And I do mean "right" and "left."
  • Special Project | Health Care Reform: Week of July 8

Jeff Nygaard, Nygaard Notes

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Few can remain unaware of the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of (most of) the Affordable Care Act of 2010. (Most people probably know it as "ObamaCare," which I'll discuss in a moment.) The Supreme Court issued its ruling in the last week of June, and the media reported on it with great excitement. I think it's a fascinating and important story, but not for the reasons most people seem to be talking about. For me, it is an excellent case study in how certain powerful sectors masterfully utilize the principles of Public Relations in their ongoing Propaganda effort aimed at shaping the public consciousness. Just as Chip Berlet says in the "Quote" of the Week above.

Let's begin with a point I made in these pages back in 2005. I said then that Modern Propaganda is based on the Three Key Concepts of Emotions, Symbols, and Association. The essence of the process is to create a Symbol (or manipulate an existing one) for the purpose of provoking or intensifying certain Emotions which then become more-or-less permanently Associated with the symbol. It's a circular process and the propagandist will typically attempt to affirm and reinforce the cycle until the underlying ideas upon which the cycle depends become widely-enough accepted as to become "common sense" in the culture at large.

Full Story...

Related:

Special Project | Health Care Reform: Week of July 8, David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Health Care Ruling Is a Mandate to Act
  • 15 New Items including:
    • Pallor or Power, Patients or Consumers: Which Model Do We Want?
    • Health Care: Give the People What They Want
    • Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis
    • Let States Create Single-Payer Healthcare
       

How to Think

  • If universities think a Milton Friedman or a Friedrich Hayek is more important than a Virginia Woolf or an Anton Chekhov, then we become barbarians.
  • Chris Hedges on The Alyona Show
  • Special Report | The Dumbing Down of American Politics: Week of July 1
  • George Lakoff | How Right-Wingers Scam People Into Buying Their Toxic Philosophy

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

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AP/Michael Probst


Cultures that endure carve out a protected space for those who question and challenge national myths. Artists, writers, poets, activists, journalists, philosophers, dancers, musicians, actors, directors and renegades must be tolerated if a culture is to be pulled back from disaster. Members of this intellectual and artistic class, who are usually not welcome in the stultifying halls of academia where mediocrity is triumphant, serve as prophets. They are dismissed, or labeled by the power elites as subversive, because they do not embrace collective self-worship. They force us to confront unexamined assumptions, ones that, if not challenged, lead to destruction. They expose the ruling elites as hollow and corrupt. They articulate the senselessness of a system built on the ideology of endless growth, ceaseless exploitation and constant expansion. They warn us about the poison of careerism and the futility of the search for happiness in the accumulation of wealth. They make us face ourselves, from the bitter reality of slavery and Jim Crow to the genocidal slaughter of Native Americans to the repression of working-class movements to the atrocities carried out in imperial wars to the assault on the ecosystem. They make us unsure of our virtue. They challenge the easy clichés we use to describe the nation—the land of the free, the greatest country on earth, the beacon of liberty—to expose our darkness, crimes and ignorance. They offer the possibility of a life of meaning and the capacity for transformation.

Full story...

Related:

Chris Hedges on The Alyona Show, Chris Hedges, The Aloyna Show
Alyona discusses his new book “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” with Chris Hedges Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and Senior Fellow at the Nation Institute.

Special Report | The Dumbing Down of American Politics: Week of July 1, David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Tea Baggers, Fundamentalists, Bigots, and Other American Dumbasses of the New Millennium
  • 9 New Items including:
    • Dark Ages Redux: American Politics and the End of the Enlightenment
    • George Monbiot | Right's Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by Too-Polite Left
    • The Sources of American Political Dysfunction
    • Conservatism Thrives on Low Intelligence and Poor Information
    • These Low Information Voters Will Be Our Undoing
    • How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington
    • Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes
    • Sorry, Bigots: You're Dumb
    • Tea Baggers, Fundamentalists, and Other American Dumbasses of the New Millennium

George Lakoff | How Right-Wingers Scam People Into Buying Their Toxic Philosophy, Joshua Holland, AlterNet

  • Here is what progressives can learn from right-wing messaging.
  • Special Report | The Dumbing Down of American Politics: Week of July 1
     

O'Reilly as Paul Revere: The Disabled Are Coming

  • One little problem with (O'Reilly's) analysis: Disability insurance isn't paid for out of income tax–it's covered by Social Security taxes, which all workers pay. (It's actually a regressive tax, since it's not paid on income over $110,000.)
  • George Lakoff | How Right-Wingers Scam People Into Buying Their Toxic Philosophy
  • Silent Running: the Burgeoning Wisconsin Scandal that Major Media Ignored

Jim Naureckas, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Bill O'Reilly complained last night (7/5/12) that there are too many disabled people in America:

Twenty years ago in June 1992, there were 3,300,000 Americans receiving federal disability payments. Today, 20 years later, that number is a record 8,733,000 workers on disability.

O'Reilly's not buying it for a second:

Why has the disability rate increased more than 100 percent? I'll tell you why. It's a con. It's easy to put in a bogus disability claim.

Full story...

Related:

George Lakoff | How Right-Wingers Scam People Into Buying Their Toxic Philosophy, Joshua Holland, AlterNet

  • Here is what progressives can learn from right-wing messaging.
  • Special Report | The Dumbing Down of American Politics: Week of July 1



Silent Running: the Burgeoning Wisconsin Scandal that Major Media Ignored, Joe Conason, NationofChange
“As millions of dollars in dark right-wing money pour into the state to preserve Gov. Scott Walker from his progressive opposition, it seems relevant that he and many top aides are under investigation in a campaign finance and corruption scandal that has been growing for two years.”
WI Gov.Walker & Aids Facing Felony Corruption-Embezzlement Investigations, Indictments, Convictions
Will Scott Walker Get an Orange Jumpsuit?
http://evergreenedigest.org/silent-running-burgeoning-wisconsin-scandal-...

 

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