The Iron Curtain

An Essay By Our Member William:

That phrase was of course first famously used by Winston Churchill in a speech in 1946. He was referring to the fact that the Soviet Union had consolidated power in Eastern Europe, and was setting up satellite regimes. Churchill said that “an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” It was a powerful and chilling image; that of a very large totalitarian state completely shutting out all dissenting influences. The power of that image has not diminished with time, though the focus has changed.

I grew up in a small and politically conservative suburb of Los Angeles. Most of my elementary school teachers, and then my junior high school social studies or government teachers, seemed pretty conservative, though they were not usually overtly political. They certainly emphasized the horror of the totalitarian communist state, where the government had complete control of the information disseminated to the public. We learned about Pravda, Tass, and Izvestia, the written and broadcast arms of the state. We were told that the people of Russia had no access to the actual truth, and could not help but believe the propaganda that they were fed daily. This was undoubtedly true for the most part, and it was a chilling thing for me to contemplate then.

The idea that the people of a nation would have no opportunity to learn what was actually going on; that the “news” was fed to them; that facts were censored, and no dissenting opinions were even voiced, was horrifying. Of course, the USSR was not the first totalitarian state, but it was the most geographically far-reaching. The Nazi propaganda fed to the Germans and all the people in the countries they conquered, was of course even more horrifying. How do we get the truth through to such people, I wondered? We learned about Radio Free Europe, and how some brave people were trying to tell the citizens of the Eastern Bloc what was really happening in the world.

Inherent in all of this was of course the pride that we had in America being a free country, where people could question their leaders, and where the news journalists were dedicated to telling the facts, so that people could make up their minds about things. And surely it was true that the history of America was mostly a winning fight for the forces of open journalism. Of course there were the yellow journalists; and the powerful Hearst empire, whose founder may well have caused the sinking of the Maine because he wanted the U.S. to fight a war with Spain. And there was later the red-baiting, and the smears and innuendoes against people who were loyal Americans, by certain segments of the media. But there was always a strong counterforce; you always got the other side, even though in the McCarthy witch hunt days, much of it was intimidated. But for the most part, the truth seemed to prevail.

When I was a young boy, there were four major newspapers in Los Angeles, and they fought for readers. Of course there was some headline hunting; but that many competing journalistic entities was a great thing, because one powerful person or newspaper chain could not control the news cycle. Those days are long over, of course, along with most of the fictional competition of the “free marketplace.”

Now we are in an age where the newspaper, as we used to know it, is all but gone. And this is a tragedy. How many of us enjoyed picking up the paper in the morning, and perusing it carefully at breakfast or lunch; reading all the various articles and editorial pieces? I know that my family did. And our major paper was the Los Angeles Times, which evolved from a pro-Nixon journal in the ’50’s, to one of the world’s great newspapers in the ’70’s. But even at its worst, I remember my parents always being able to find a few opinion piece writers whom they respected. In other words, it was never completely one-sided; nor did most of the important news not get through. And then of course there were the three major networks: CBS, NBC, and ABC, where you felt that you were getting the news, even though of course there might have been some bias among the various anchorpersons or even the entire network, at various times. My parents watched them all, even though they were all on at the same time, during one period. If there were a positive story for our liberal Democratic side, my father, who usually had the remote, would try to catch the different versions of it on all three networks. Sometimes he and my mother would be upset at the way some anchor presented a story, but most of the objections were more about semantics, than any attempt to ignore or misrepresent the story.

And my parents watched virtually every single news show on the weekends. I didn’t quite have their love of it; I got sort of tired of hearing the same people say the same things. But there would often be spirited debates, even on a show like the McLaughlin Group, where at least you could always cheer on Eleanor Clift and Jack Germond. So while none of this debate really got anybody anywhere, at least it allowed both sides to come through; and so one did not feel as if one were being spoon-fed propaganda.

Well now I really fear as if those days are all gone. Year after year, I would watch less of the news channels, because I felt that the presentations and even the subjects were biased. When Fox came along, with their Orwellian, “We report, you decide,” slogan, it was very disconcerting. CNN in the Ted Turner days was adequate. Then MSNBC came up, and was even liberal for a time, but is no more. And CNN has become as bad as Fox, at least from everything I have read. My brother, who was and is a big Obama supporter, was complaining about CNN a few years ago; and of course CNN is far worse as regards Hillary Clinton. I do not know exactly what happened to them, but clearly their corporate ownership has no qualms about distorting the news in order to achieve its ends. In other words, “news” not as facts about whose implications people can debate, but “news” as fabricated or vastly slanted, because the goal of the media entity is not to provide information, but to control the minds and opinions of the public.

How can one think it is otherwise now? When virtually all semi-neutral observers have noted the absolute bias against Hillary Clinton in this very early campaign? I thought that they would have waited a while, but the media is engaged in preemptive strikes, trying to poison the minds of voters, by inventing a ludicrous “e-mail scandal,” which is no scandal at all, not even a mistake. The media does not start with some facts and then try to unravel their meaning. They start with a prefabricated conclusion, and then try to create or omit facts in such as way as to try to trick people into believing what the media wants them to believe. This was done against Gore, and against Kerry; it is not new. But it has steadily gotten worse, to the point now where there is not even a nod to the actual truth of matters, just a pervasive and relentless bias in every story.

Somehow the concept of jounalism as conceived by people like Montaigne, Addison, and Zenger, has been completely lost. In its place is an unholy combination of entertainment and propaganda. The entertainment part of it is determined to make every presidential race close, so as to draw viewers. Further, the political news is presented with an eye toward “sexy” stories: the personal; how someone dresses, how they talk, tone of voice, a particular word or phrase that the media latches onto Things that people who are conditioned to watching “The Bachelorette” can easily grasp. And then the propaganda, which is fed to people along with the entertainment aspects, is virtually as insidious and totalitarian as anything fed to the Russian people under Stalin or Brezhnev.

I could write much more about this, of course. The estimable site HIllary Men has written insightfully about how Karl Rovian tactics of inserting various tested phrases are used in every story, so as to completely color the narrative about HIllary Clinton,. The powerful right-wing think tanks concoct these phrases each day, and fire out the stories to the news networks, who very readily spew them out to the public. It used to seem that perhaps the networks were foolish dupes in this, but now it is apparent that they are very willing participants.

People who always feared that America would become a totalitarian state, always had an erroneous take on it, I felt. The danger is very real, but it is not the government per se which would clamp down the iron curtain on all dissenting or questioning. It would be the ultra-powerful trillionaire corporations, which have virtually taken on the image of a ravenous monster existing beyond even the venal desires of their corporate leaders and boards. They must be fed, they want all the wealth and all the power. Anything that stands in their way must be destroyed. Truth is of no significance to them whatsoever. They will create whatever stories help them to control the populace, and keep someone who might pose a threat to them from being elected. They want to control every branch of government, and any impediment to their corporate mergers, stifling of competition, the laws passed by their bought legislators which have only one intent: to allow them to consolidate and increase their power. Corporations were always that way, of course, but we used to have a free press; and the “muckraking journalists” of the early 20th century exposed much of their dark side. Now we have no free press, as the corporations own virtually all of it. One can still write a book, I suppose; but there would be no corporation to back it, and insure it remains on the shelves, as they do with the anti-Clinton books which they regularly subsidize.

This is a dire picture. I do not like dire pictures; I prefer to think at least somewhat optimistically. But people just have to realize what is going on here. This is about far more than this election, or even about Hillary Clinton, as wonderful a candidate as she is. She is undoubtedly being damaged by the almost breathtaking lies being told about her by the media each day, every day. That is the goal of the lies, of course. To destroy her candidacy; to damage her favorability numbers to the point that she cannot recover. Does anyone see any interest by the media in actually covering issues in this race? I don’t think that the media has any intention of actually discussing anything relating to a real issue, at least not until they can destroy the Hillary candidacy, which is the only goal they have. I suppose they would like ratings, but the corporate ownership will gladly take a small temporary loss, to be able to vastly enhance their profits under a right-wing president who will let the corporations run wild. And the only Democrat who can defeat a right-wing Republican is Hillary Clinton. So they lay off Sanders now, because if he is somehow nominated, they can then bring out the “would you vote for a Socialist?” theme, which would destroy his candidacy. And with Biden, they’ve got all sorts of things stored up, from plagiarism, to age, to many more. They hold off on these now because those two candidates are easy targets. Hillary is the big target, the one they fear; so they are fixing all their guns on her.

Hillary could win even despite this, though I was not prepared for the extent of the shameless and vicious media tactics. But even if she wins, how does she manage to govern, if this is going to be the template for how they cover her presidency? Of course she can speak directly to the people on occason. But how much of her narrative will be ruined by unceasing media attacks, which of course were so effective in helping the Republicans to destroy the Democrats in the last two midterm elections? We are so used to assuming that the media, both journalistic and broadcast, is actually telling us real facts, that if we start to believe that they are not; that everything they say is carefully concocted, where are we then?

Do we now have our own iron curtain clamping down on the ability of our citizens to discern what is actually happening with regard to governmental or political affairs? Oh, certainly we will still get our “entertainment stories” of car crashes and violent acts, and what one celebrity said to another. Those are the equivalent of the “bread and circuses” which the Roman historian Tacitus described as the methods by which the Roman emperors kept the population amused and quiescent. But with regard to the really important matters, those that will affect virtually every person for the next four years and more, can we rely on anything the media now tells us? And even if you or I can still find out things for ourselves; if we live in a country where the majority rules, and most of the voters have been brainwashed or stifled by the corporate media iron curtain which does not allow anything but what they choose to come through, how do we manage to reach enough of those voters to enable them to break through it?


An Essay by member William:

Imagine for a minute that suddenly the 22nd Amendment were repealed, and that a President could serve more than two terms.

And further imagine that President Obama declared that he was going to run for the third term. And still further, that as a result, no Democrat would oppose him for the nomination. And one final feat of imagination: that it was a virtual certainty that Obama would win the third term, by about the margin he had over Mitt Romney in the last election.

Would that be a strongly positive thing for the country, for the vision of it which we have consistently been striving for? I think not.

Yes, it would be a Democratic victory; it would not be a takeover of the executive branch by the Republicans. Roe vs. Wade would be safe for a while longer. But of course the almost certainly small margin by which Obama would win, would insure that the Republicans still controlled both houses of Congress. And given the absolute hammering the Democrats took in the two midyear elections during Obama’s term, it is likely that the Republicans would even increase that majority, maybe almost to a veto-proof majority. If not quite that, then close enough so that all that Obama could do during the third term would be to veto most of the many bills which the far right-wing House and Senate would send to him. And what if the Republicans threatened to shut the government down if he did not accede to various of their demands? And what if they refused to raise the debt ceiling? What leverage would Obama have, beyond making his “grand bargain” in which he agreed to massive cuts in Social Security and Medicare?

And what about the environment? Obama can’t do anything now to compel any agreement in this country to cut coal and gas emissions. He can do a few very small things around the fringes, but nothing substantial. He can’t really do much of anything in any area, because the Congress will not pass any bills he might propose. All he can do is veto some bills, and make speeches, which the media always seems to adore, but which don’t accomplish anything concrete.

We’ve now had a year of Obama facing a Republican controlled Congress, and he seems to have virtually given up on getting anything positive accomplished; he is simply trying to mute the worst effects. Another four years of that would not only be fruitless and dreary, the country would decline in so many important ways. A stalemate is better than a loss, but we do not have the luxury of being able to let things get worse in so many crucial areas, hoping for a change four years after that. In fact, why would anyone reasonably expect that four years from Obama’s re-election to a third term, the Democrats would suddenly become able to retake the Congress? Right now, the Democratic grassroots is withering; the Democrats have almost no strength or organization in a majority of the states. Republicans control most state legislatures, and they use this power to redistrict things even more in their favor. Some Democrats may not want to realize it, but the Democratic Party is actually in a state of serious weakness, despite holding on the presidency .

Now, if one follows this logical line, it seems pretty clear that an Obama third term would be far from sufficient or significant. And of course, that is the “best case” in that scenario. Obama barely won last time; what if he were to lose this time? Consider not only where we would be for the next four years; but who could suddenly arise to take back any of the lost ground in the next election?

What is absolutely. desperately needed, is a President who could do the following things:

1) Win by a large enough margin to at least help Democrats to make some inroads in the House and Senate, maybe even win the Senate back. This is so crucial in terms of the Supreme Court seats which will be coming up before too long. A Senate completely controlled by Republicans will simply defeat any moderate-to-liberal nominee. It should be very clear that the rabid and doctrinaire Republicans who control that party, do not care about protocol or reasonable dealings; all they care about is getting their way. If the Supreme Court seat has to remain unfilled for four years, while they vote down every nominee, they will do that. Thus a Democratic Senate is essential. At the very least, we need a Senate which is closely divided enough that maybe a couple of East Coast Republican senators might finally agree to support a moderate nominee.

2). Fight the Republicans. Do not cave into them. Use the power of the presidency for all it is worth. Use Executive Orders; threaten to withhold funds from legislators’ pet projects; go directly to the people and urge them to voice their support for the President’s position. Do not make bad deals just to avoid conflict. Call the Republicans out, and explain to the American voters what is at stake; and how pernicious are the Republicans’ views on these crucial issues. In other words, try to change the national dialogue. That is something that has not been tried since Bill Clinton was president. No one in recent times was more effective in winning the national debate on economics. If it weren’t for Clinton explaining this all once again to the American people at the last Democratic convention, Obama would probably have lost the election, because he somehow lacked the ability to make the case in simple but strong fashion. Or maybe he did not identify closely enough with the Democratic Party. Democrats have to win the national debate to be able to gain popular support for their positions and programs. Otherwise, the Republican-dominated media drowns it all out, and we are in a state of perpetual deadlock, at best.

3) Build up Democratic strength on the state and Congressional level. Democrats cannot. accomplish much of anything, if all the state legislatures are controlled by Republicans. Much of what can be done on a national level can be undone by the states. And having state legislatures in which Democrats show some power, can help in Congressional elections, because there is a deeper bench of potential new candidates. Right now, the Democrats nationally have virtually no young talent, which is frightening. This desperately needs to be fixed, and without delay.

The key point I take away from all of this, is that it is not enough for the Democrats just to win the next presidential election. It has to be won by someone who has the skill and strength to do all of the above, and more. And of course it is beyond obvious that if the Democrats actually nominate someone who cannot win, things immediately get much worse. We have to win, but not with just anyone; with someone who can set about fixing things which have steadily gotten worse in the last sixteen years, through a variety of failings and faults of a variety of people.

I think that it should be abundantly clear that the only possible person who has at least a chance to achieve this, is Hillary Clinton. Senator Sanders cannot win, nor could he effectively govern. Vice President Biden would at best just be a continuation of all of the limitations of the Obama Presidency. Hillary has by far the best chance of any Democrat to win. She is smarter than all of them; all the Republicans, and the media, too. She has vowed to undertake a massive rebuilding of the Democratic Party on the state level. She has seen and done more than enough in her career to have a very clear knowledge of what the Republicans and the vast right-wing conspiracy is about. She is a fighter, and she will not give in for the sake of convenience. It is so overwhelmingly clear to me that she is the only possible person who could change the course that the country is heading on, that I am virtually amazed that she is not getting the support of every single Democrat and Independent who truly cares about the the state of this nation.

Alternative History

An essay by our member, William:


August 25, 2019

The country is in the third year of the Jeb Bush presidency. It is in the midst of the hottest summer on record, with temperatures in the 100’s in many states. Climatologists who three years before warned that the “tipping point” on climate change was close to being reached unless drastic measures were taken, now state that it is virtually impossible to stop it. Republicans in Congress have gutted every environmental law and control previously on the books, and coal emissions have skyrocketed. Fracking has extended to both coastlines, and the Alaskan National Preserve. Pollution covers most American cities, in some cases worse than in the 1970’s, before the former EPA air quality standards were in place. The intense heat of course holds the pollutants in the atmosphere longer. Asthma, emphysema, and other lung diseases become epidemic.

The Food and Drug Administration has been essentially eliminated by the Republicans. Outbreaks of poisioning due to contaminated foods are becoming commonplace. Some state governors have warned their citizens that they cannot guarantee the safety of any food or drug on the market, and that extreme care must be taken.

Social Security benefits have substantially diminished, under the cuts decreed by Bush and his Republican dominated Congress. In his Inauguration Speech, Bush vowed to end Social Security, saying that the country could no longer afford it, but he promised to do it over a five year period. There are to be no more new Social Security recipients beginning January 1, 2020.

Medicare benefits have been severely slashed, under the legislation which offset these cuts with a payments of up to $1,000 a year to allow the elderly to buy insurance. However, with insurance rates skyrocketing, most seniors are unable fo afford such plans, and are reportedly using the money to buy dog food to eat. Bush has promised to crack down on this fraud; and the Congressional leaders have indicated that the payments may be terminated altogether.

The stock market, which rose 500 points in the three months after Bush’s election, which conservative pundits hailed as a “Republican Rally,” has now dropped 2500 points since then, as unemployment has risen, and spending is down. Corporate profits have done well in some industries, with many more jobs being outsourced or eliminated than in previous decades. Economists believe that we are already in a recession, the depth of which is not yet known. Republicans have promised to further cut corporate taxes, which they say will stimulate the economy; even though the reduction to a 20% top rate two years before has not done so.

An article in the Washington Post, entitled, “Were We Unfair to Hillary Clinton?” has gotten some coverage, though most of the broadcast media has ignored it. The article wonders whether the media was unfair to Clinton during her campaign, ignoring most of her policy proposals, in favor of covering matters such as her email, her speaking style, and her wardrobe.

Part of the article is as follows: “It turns out that Ms. Clinton was correct when she predicted a downturn in the economy if the Republicans won the White House. She was also right when she warned that the Republicans. if given control of all three branches of government, would quickly move to end Social Security and Medicare; while most of the media scoffed at this, saying that it was just fear tactics from a candidate desperate to win. And unfortunately, her warnings that global warming would drastically increase, seem to be proving out. Perhaps we in the media paid too little attention to these policy issues, in our more pervasive coverage of personal matters.” The article goes on to say, “We may owe Ms. Clinton an apology. But whether we do or not, our hope is that we will work to improve the way the media covers campaigns in the future.”

This article drew scornful reaction from the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd. Writing on the company’s blogsite, which has taken the place of the former print editions, Dowd said that Clinton’s retirement from public life was “akin to Miss Havisham sitting in her room filled with cobwebs and stale wedding cake.” Dowd also likened Clinton to Lady Macbeth, Daisy Buchanan, Medea, the Medusa, Lizzie Borden, and any other character she could remember from her high school and college literature courses.

The broadcast media, now “All Conservative, All the Time,” hailed the raising of the chocolate ration from two grams to three.

This could all be real headlines and news from this date. Or there could be an alternate history where things are much better. Who can tell? In the words of the great Philip K. Dick, from his novel “The Man in the High Castle,” “Believe.” And realize that if it has not already happened, we might still have a chance to keep it from happening.

Marketing Towards 1984??

—-An essay by our member William:

1984-NovelWhen I first read Orwell’s “1984” as a teenager, the thing which most terrified me was that the totalitarian state he envisioned, existed with the full support of its populace. There was some physical coercion, of course; and relentless surveillance of potential rebels; but the great mass of the people wholly bought into the government’s propaganda. There is no way that each of these people could have been individually brainwashed, the way that the protagonists Winston and Julia ultimately were. No, this was some kind of mass thought control, not done through individualized torturing, but simply playing on what Orwell saw as popular ignorance and credulousness, by the use of mass marketing techniques.

That book was written before technology has unfortunately (in my view) come to dominate much of people’s lives. Computer programs can now do even better what the cynical marketers of the “Mad Men” era were trying to achieve with their slogans and jingles. I never bought any of those products because of ads, so I used to look at it all somewhat amusedly. They could do all the beer commercials they wanted, but I wasn’t going to drink beer. And I wasn’t going to buy a car because some slinky woman was sitting on top of it, purring to me about how sexy it was.

But the somewhat amusing but ultimately sinister world of TV ads of course developed into something even more sinister: the marketing of politicians, and the attempts by the same types of marketers to manipulate the views and votes of the populace. First it was developing a certain kind of look for the camera; or coming up with a slogan like “I Like Ike.” But as this field developed, and as computers were able to calculate and refine such things much more comprehensively than humans, it became much more insidious. Millions and millions of dollars were poured into marketing research, to find ways to seduce, coerce, or manipulate the voters into preferring one candidate over another. And not at all surprisingly, the bulk of this is increasingly being done by the Republicans, a party controlled by corporations which now have billions of dollars to spend; and which contemplate even more billions of dollars in returns, by getting their preferred corporatist candidates elected.

A frightening microcosm of this can be seen in California, where I live. California was a state which was once controlled by oil and railroad barons, who bought and paid for the entire state legislature. When the Progressive movement of early 20th Century America found its way to California, it resulted in the election of the one progressive governor in 100 years, Hiram Johnson. And he helped to spearhead the three populist voting devices of the Initiative, Referendum, and Recall. These were intended to break the stranglehold of the corporate controlled state legislature, by letting people create Propositions which could go straight to the ballot, and be voted on, without the legislature being able to stop them. And people could vote to recall a politician who was felt to be guilty of malfeasance or ineptitude.

Well, as one might cynically expect, the good intentions of this system were eventually taken advantage of by billion-dollar corporations. First, they realized that they could develop and fund their own initiatives, and put them on the ballot. Then they would devise marketing schemes which would convince the people that they were not voting to benefit corporations, but that they were fighting against intrusive government, or “liberals,” or reducing their taxes. So some horrific propositions were put on the ballots. But actually, most of them were defeated, through some good, if underfunded, advertising by the “anti” forces. However, the corporations have been able to defeat virtually every populist consumer-based initiative, by swamping the airwaves (and I mean swamping; something like every five minutes, one of their ads would run) with messages carefully constructed to manipulate the opinions of voters, or make them think that “up is down,” the way that Orwell’s then-fictional totalitarian state did.

The typical buzzwords used (they are pretty easy to deduce, since we hear them all the time), are: “This will raise your taxes”; “We can’t afford to spend this money now”; “This will further damage a struggling economy”; “It will cost jobs”; “It is supported by the trial lawyers, who want to make money by filing frivolous lawsuits.” They have been tested and re-tested by the computer programs, and by immense marketing research. And very sadly, they seem to work. Most people just don’t have the time or even the insight necessary to sift through these messages and try to figure out who is paying for them. I always thought that the best way for the vastly underfunded consumer side of things to fight this avalanche of ads, was to try a little ju jitsu, by simply running a few ads saying, “All these ads you have been seeing, urging you to vote No on Proposition 58? Take a look at who is paying for them. Billion-dollar corporations which want to rob you of the ability to see what actually is in the foods you are buying. Stop them from duping you into buying genetically engineered and dangerous foods. Vote Yes on 58.” But no one actually runs such ads, and I don’t know if they would work, in any event. So the corporations spend $100 million to make $3 billion, a good investment for them. And this profit is poured into more of such marketing research and mind control manipulation.

Of course this has become pervasive in actual person-vs.-person elections as well. Both sides do it, but the Republicans, awash in corporate billions, have a lot more money to do so. And they are much more machiavellian about it. The Republicans have long ago abandoned whatever moral compunction they may once have had. They do not believe in science; they do not believe in facts; their sacred text is anything which can get them to win a national election. And very tragically, they are getting better and better at it. The fate of our democracy depends on people smartening up, and becoming more impervious to this evil marketing. And of course it depends on the reversal of the “Citizens United” decision, which opened the floodgates to “dark money” coming in to election campaigns, with no way for people to discern who is really behind it.

Now, as we know, the Republicans will do anything to defeat Hillary Clinton. Hillary is the greatest, and maybe the last, threat to their efforts to completely take over every branch of government, plus the media. At such a point, people would have no way to know what the truth was; they would just be brainwashed by the political leaders, supported by the corporate-owned media. We could be fighting Eastasia, or not; we could now be allies with Eastasia; who could tell? It is not really that difficult to create a totalitarian state, if you have control of all branches of government, AND the media; AND if you have trillions of dollars, and advanced computer metrics to show you how to keep this control.

So we are already seeing the results of these billions (and I literally mean billions) of dollars being spent on marketing research and advertising, designed to poison the voters’ minds against Hillary Clinton. We read that they are trying to figure out exactly how to get women voters to turn against Hillary. It is simply a marketing problem for them; like how to convince people not to buy a competitor’s detergent. They develop focus groups, and they try the various ads out on them. They found that the harsher ads were rejected by potential women voters, so they are going to try “softer” ads, all designed to change the minds of the women voters who originally favored Hillary. Will they be successful in this? Let us all fervently hope not. But we know that people are very susceptible to cleverly positioned ad campaigns. Just like in “1984,” the goal is to figure out what people’s greatest fear is, and then play upon it, to convince them that Hillary Clinton will cause the things that they don’t want. The accuracy of any of this is of absolutely no concern to them, just like it wasn’t to Goebbels in Nazi Germany, where his “Big Lie” technique was perfected.

And as we have discussed before, the Republicans believe that their best line of attack is the personal. They really don’t want to debate issues with Hillary Clinton. They want to convince people that she is a bad person, that she lies, that she cannot be trusted. All of these are nonsensical, but marketing research shows that you might be able to convince people of anything, if you say it frequently and cleverly enough. There is not one shred of fact indicating that Hillary has ever lied or misled about one aspect of political life; and probably not her personal life, either. But that does not stop the corporate marketers, who will run ads which say “she can’t be trusted,” over and over and over, like the Chinese Water Torture, designed to break the will of the tortured person. They will try to paint her as some kind of evil figure who wants to accumulate imperial power, when it is really they who want that power. They will doctor photographs of her to make her look unpleasant. And rest assured, they will seize on the most infinitesimal misstatement in any debate or speech to proclaim, ” You see! She lies! She misleads! You cannot trust her!” And the media, which is supposed to be a neutral and fair-minded watchdog, is really in the pocket of the corporatists, and will cheerfully aid them in this brainwashing technique.

We can still prevail in this election, and must do so. We cannot be overly dispirited by the misrepresentations in the broadcast and print media. But we have to provide the Clinton campaign with as much money as possible to help them to combat the Republicans’ insidious multi-billion dollar brainwashing campaign. It is a great shame that you need money to combat money; but right now, this is what has to be done. And then of course there still is a place for grassroots campaigning, where you can talk to the people one by one, and show them that billion dollar funded marketing lies are just that. We can all play a part in that, even as the main battles are inevitably fought in the media. Never in my life so much as now, have I felt that “1984” could become a reality. But it is not an inevitable reality, as long as we recognize the danger, and do not become paralyzed by fear or despair when confronting it.

Oooops! Now That I’m Running, I’ve Changed My Mind…

Lucky Hillary is in this race or these guys wouldn’t have any talking points. – SophieCT

Isn’t that the truth!

I can’t help myself! I just have to post these comments made by hypocritical Republican Desperado candidates who suddenly regard Hillary Clinton as The Enemy Of America who, to quote Carly, “Has no achievements”.

h/t to SophieCT for finding this.

Clinton’s campaign set up a press filing room for reporters covering the debates at her headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. The walls of the room were covered with posters showing past statements from several of the Republican candidates praising Clinton.

All Righty, then. Let us move onto Quotable Quotes from times no so long ago:

I want to start with Carly, who seems to have no problem accommodating the Patriarchy’s oldest trick in the world: Let’s get this girl to attack that girl AKA “The Cat Fight”.

Carly, the truth is: You would still be fetching coffee and donuts for some dickhead with half your brains if it weren’t for 2nd Wave Feminists like Hillary Clinton, who stood in the rain and snow and incurred multiple bruises so that you could  move up in the world of business and  then show up one day running for President while behaving like an insufferable ingrate. Thanks for confirming that in your one accidental moment of truth about Hillary:

………..And now, for quotable quotes from the Boys In The Band:

Well Donald! In between calling women dogs, slobs and fat pigs, you said this about the woman who, now that you are Running, is suddenly “The worst Secretary of State Ever”:

Gang, I don’t even know what to say to this Dumbo, except that the quote below is surprisingly cogent – at least for him:

And how about you, Marco, you plastic-faced clown?

Did I hear you say in that debate that “God has blessed the Republican Party with some good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one”.

What a hypocritical desperado you are. How’s this, Jesus-Man: “Alas you pharisees. Hypocrites all!”. Read this and have a gulp of water, you two-faced asshole:

A Bush admitting that Hillary is admirable! I’ll alert the Media!


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