It Ain’t Just a River in Egypt

Hail Cleopatra

Hail Cleopatra

Human behavior can be predicted with amazing accuracy.  The more people involved the more depressingly accurate the prediction.  This is how the Public Relations weasels turned the idiocy of Reagan’s administration into a success.  This is how the Catholic Church managed to hide the pedophile priest problem for decades.  People can be trusted to disbelieve anything they do not want to believe.  The New Age thrived because people did not want to believe they were responsible for the world that we live in.  This disbelief is called Denial, and it is actually an important survival mechanism.

When the human mind is confronted with something really horrible, it goes into a shut down.  The mind does not acknowledge it.  It takes the memory and puts it away in a closet and shuts the door.  The memory stays in the closet until the mind is ready to deal with the memory.  What happens for individuals can also happen to groups.  Something really nasty happens to a group of people and people simply deny that it happens.

We have watched this happen with the Catholic Church.  Entire parishes have turned their backs on pedophilia victims and their families rather than to acknowledge that it happened.  Denial goes beyond that as well.  I suspect that conspiracy theories come out of a mass denial that bad things can happen.  I grew up on Kennedy conspiracy theories.  The poor man has been dead for 44 years.  It is certain that his assassination was a lone operation done by J. Edgar Hoover, because of Hoover’s racist paranoia.  Yet to this day there are Kennedy Conspiracy theories going around.  Worse, they are the same ones that have been discredited years ago.

We have the same problem with September 11th conspiracy theories.  I think It’s because people cannot accept that this country is being run by morons.  Rather than admit the government is being run by a bunch of crooks so stupid that they caused a world wide stock market crash, they come up with elaborate conspiracy theories.  I suppose it gives people a sense of security to think that their government is being run by Goldfinger instead of Knucklehead Smith.

Be it September 11th or Evolution, everything is subject to denial.  Religion is a massive denial mechanism used to fool ourselves into thinking that there is somebody in charge.  Massive groups of people gather together under the pretended protection of a make-believe friend in the sky.  They reassure themselves that the truth of their holy books is beyond question.  They reinforce the idea that their adherence to their make-believe friend makes them morally superior to other people.  There is no religion which is immune to this fallacy.  One can be a rapture believing Christianoid or an neo-pagan dancing naked around a bonfire, denial is the thread they have in common.

Several years ago my wife was advocating for a girl who had been abused by her father and members of the neo-pagan cult her father belonged to.  This cult is infamous for its friendship with serial killer Leonard Lake.  Naturally all attempts to communicate with this cult met with deaf ears.  All of them closed ranks to protect the father, just as a Catholic parish would close ranks around a pedophile priest.  Denial is the one force we can depend on in an ever changing world.  It is the number one method used by both salesmen and con men.  To accept the truth about a terrible situation means that one has to do something about it. Religion places the responsibility into the hands of the make-believe friend.  Conspiracy theories take power out of the hands of the public and into the hands of pretend conspirators.  One wonders how we survived at all.

6. Controlled Mass Media Part 2: The Marketplace of Ideas

Do Not Expect The Opposition to Tell the Truth Either

Do Not Expect The Opposition to Tell the Truth Either

The Internet is probably the most heavily controlled media on Earth; only it is controlled by chaos.  China could save billions of dollars if its government realized that total chaos is a more rigid censor than absolute control.  The Internet has become a mass of rumor, fact, confusion, paranoia, defamation, conspiracy theories, and deliberate misinformation.  All the Chinese government needs to do is hire a couple of hackers to begin rumors like the government is putting obedience drugs in the water, Israel is funding the Secret Police, or that Bush is secretly manipulating Chinese jobs, and there would be no need for censorship.  The population would take care of that themselves.

I first came across this unique form of censorship four years ago when I was co-moderating a Yahoo! group called Do Something America.  It took a little effort, but the group owner and I rid the board of most of the violently insane “net nuts”.  We even managed to do some cooperative actions, like calling our Congresspeople over the stolen 2004 election.  Then things started to change. First it was the rumors that Karl Rove was being indicted by a grand jury.  As I mentioned before, such rumors undermine the grand jury system and would invalidate any such indictment.  Personally, I think that the White House itself was behind those rumors, as they guaranteed that Turd Blossom walked free.

I tried to get people to check their sources before they posted, but I was fighting a losing battle.  I felt like the little Dutch Boy trying to stem a flood by sticking appendages into a leaking dike.  It seemed that every net nut in the U.S was posting the most incredible idiocy.  Most of it concerned Israel.  Hitler’s International Jewish Conspiracy was alive and well and living in Do Something America.  Israel was behind Sept. 11th. Israel was behind all the ills of the American economy. Israel was behind the Iraq war.  Israeli art students were spying on the DEA office in New Jersey.  These “articles” came complete with broken links and no way to verify the information.  The harder I banned and deleted, the more nonsense flooded the board.

Not that it would have made any difference.  The more idiotic the post, the more it had been cross posted to other Yahoo! groups.  It wasn’t just anti-semitic idiocy either.  There was a lot of AIDS denial, absurd Sept. 11th conspiracies–it got to the point where the idiocy so outweighed the factual information that I simply gave up.  The other Yahoo! boards were worse.  I just left Yahoo! to the net nuts.

With no regulation of Web content, there is no standards for truth or accuracy.  This reduces the Web to the same meaningless drivel as Fox News.  Worse, all the paranoid idiocy acts as a smoke screen to undermine the legal process.  When you have a bunch of loonies marching down the street demanding government investigations of the patently absurd, it drowns out the voices of those of us who want investigations of the provable crimes committed by the Bush Administration.

Of course we can depend on the Libertarians to be the loudest voice preventing us from fixing this problem.  Libertarians fight off the establishment of standards on the Web as hard as they fight the establishment of standards on all other media.  To the Libertarian, lies, misinformation, bigotry, and defamation are all part of free speech.  Requirements that statements be true and verifiable are considered censorship to the Libertarian.  Laws that protect minorities from defamation bring on accusations of oppression.  Libertarians deliberately confuse fact with opinion, and claim that an requiring an opinion to be stated as an opinion is a threat to their First Amendment rights.

One AIDS denier whom I banned from Do Something America, and later ran into on another board, called this nonsense The Marketplace of Ideas.  According to him, everybody should be free to post anything that they want without consequences, and it is the reader who has to pick out what is true or untrue.  With that sort of logic, Bayer can use rat poison for aspirin filler, and it’s up to the consumer to tell if it’s safe to take.  Nobody has the time to check every piece of drivel that comes through the Internet.  Besides, a lot of the conspiracy theories are backed with either the logic of madness or the logic of some damned good PR agents.

The lack of journalistic standards, enforcement of defamation laws, and prevention of rumor mongering reduces the Web to Fox McNews.  The only people who have anything to fear from establishing standards are the corporations.  Reliable information would cause their downfall.  If Bush was not protected by a fog of conspiracy theories, he might have been prosecuted for the actual incompetence that led to Sept. 11th. The statement of opinions would remain protected free speech as long as such opinions do not lead to harm to individuals or minorities.  So the establishment of standards would not silence Libertarians as they claim.  It would only cause the end of the most damnable form of censorship ever created.

These Millionaires are Asking Me for Money?

These Millionaires are Asking Me for Money?

6.Controlled Mass Media Part one; Overview

Even Propaganda Can Be Art

Even Propaganda Can Be Art

Censorship is the primary tool of all dictatorships.  Be it a Communist or Capitalist dictatorship, control of the masses depends on the control of the media.  In Communism, the media is directly controlled by the state.  The Russian language even had a word for it, Pravda.  Pravda literally means “Official Truth” as opposed to real truth.  In other words, Pravda means that you know it’s a lie but you are going to make believe it’s true.  The alternative is a one-way ticket to Siberia.  In a Capitalist dictatorship, or fascism, the media is controlled by the corporations and is used to support their puppet government.  This is why we have a White House press corps which obediently tells the American public any Pravda the White House hands them.  You know that they are lying, but it is even more difficult to discover the truth than it is in a Communist dictatorship.

The Corporations discovered how dangerous a free press is when Woodward and Bernstein brought down the Nixon Administration.  That set the fascist takeover of America back by an entire decade.  From the beginning of the Reagan Administration, the corporations began a massive push to emasculate out free press, and they have succeeded.  Just look at Fox News or CNN.  That obscene example of “McNews” was made possible by the deregulation of the media.

Back in my youth, the media was regulated for the public good.  Antitrust laws prevented any single network from taking over the airwaves.  Local affiliates were required to serve their broadcast area.  They had to promote local interest broadcasts, advertise local businesses, and present opposing views to editorials. Most importantly, the free press was protected by law.  Today deregulation has reduced the media to the personal mouthpieces of the monopolistic corporations. Local affiliates are no longer independently owned thanks to the eliminations of anti-trust laws.  Local businesses stay solvent by selling Chinese-made merchandise, and the only point of view the media is required to promote are their owner’s.  This means that the press is no longer free.  The media is now exclusively the mouthpiece of the monopolies which own them.

Deregulation has utterly destroyed any semblance of a free press.  The courts have ruled that press releases can be treated as real news.  Public Relations puff pieces can be presented as fact, and there is nothing that the public can do about it.  Fox News and CNN can falsely report weapons of mass destruction in Iraq without legal consequences.  The laws that protected a free press are no longer in force. What is left is corporate Pravda.

Now that the corporations have the media just the way they want it, they need to make certain that it stays that way.  This is where the Libertarians come in.  The purpose of the Libertarian party is to protect corporate power. (More about this in a future section.) In the strangest example of double-speak that I have ever seen, the Libertarians call the laws that protect free speech censorship.  They decry the obvious censorship of Fox News and CNN while opposing any sort of regulation that would put a stop to it.

There is a certain logic to that.  The Libertarian movement serves as another source of government disinformation.  Libertarians are a source of conspiracy theories that act as a smoke screen for government misconduct.  They are a source of rumors which undermine the legal system which protects us from fascism. The Libertarian disdain for defamation laws also act as a divide and conquer tactic to split the left.

A common Libertarian tactic is to say “Do you expect the government to tell you the truth?” and then turn around and tell a bigger whopper.  Accusations of the Mossad being behind the Bush Administration, or that jet fuel does not burn hot enough to melt cheap steel.  The rumors about Karl Rove being indicted by a grand jury would guarantee that it would not happen.  (Such rumors undermine the grand jury process and would invalidate any such indictments. )  Holocaust denial and the return of the International Jewish Conspiracy assures that Jews will be frozen out of the left.  Thus, Libertarians are as big a tool of censorship as the Born Again Christianoids.  I will go into more detail in my next post about the Libertarian Market Place of Ideas.

No Unwed Pregnant Daughters

No Unwed Pregnant Daughters