08 September 2011

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”


It is indeed fascinating, the things that exist in history. These things are so clear, so lucid, that it's hard to believe that even the most mentally challenged haven't retained some shred of the information.

Hitler is often credited with this statement:

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

While the statement above captures the essence of the practice, here's what was really said:

"In the primitive simplicity of their minds, they will more easily fall victim to a large lie than a small lie, since they sometimes tell petty lies themselves, but would be ashamed to tell a lie that was too big. They would never consider telling a lie of such magnitude themselves, or knowing that it would require such impudence, they would not consider it possible for it to be told by others. Even after being enlightened and shown that the lie is a lie, they will continue to doubt and waver for a long time and will still believe there must be some truth behind it somewhere, and there must be some other explanation. For this reason, some part of the most bold and brazen lie is sure to stick. This is a fact that all the great liars and liars’ societies (meaning the Jewish press) in this world know only too well and use regularly."
Page 205 Mein Kampf, Ford Translation.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”  ~ Joseph Goebbels
“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”  ~ Joseph Goebbels
This approach is being applied in many areas, facilitated by something Goebbels would have killed a million Romani to have, today's mass media.

Next time you park yourself in front of your favorite cable news channel, try reflecting on what you're hearing. Does it make sense? Does it simply cater to your biases?

Could the "echo chamber" be repeating the same "messaging" for your reprogramming needs? Does the same message come out of the babble box over and over and over? Different words, but the same message?

Think it over.

07 September 2011

What if the GOP was the Climate Change Party?

(ed. note: This needs to be spread around... if you like it, pass it on!)

By James Thindwa
Some of us say what we believe, and believe what we say. Some of us even fight for what we believe. There are also those who claim to believe something or other, but won't fight for it. That's the way of the world. So let's imagine a world only slightly different, with only the names changed to protect the guilty...

What If the GOP Was the Climate Change Party?
By James Thindwa
Imagine if you will, an alternative universe, in which the GOP believes in climate change, and the Democrats are the naysayers? How would a climate crusading Republican Party approach this most consequential issue?
In their customary hard-nosed fashion, the GOP would no doubt have made more progress on climate change—replete with tough regulations and high-minded international treaties—than we have seen so far. GOP politicians and talking heads would be making hay from all the horrible weather, beating the drums about the grave danger to our “national security” and way of life posed by climate change. They would be warning of gloom and doom and calling for—to hell with cap-and-trade—new legislation with stricter timetables for cutting greenhouse emissions, higher carbon taxes and stiffer penalties for polluters. And they would dare the president to veto it!
Republican politicians would be talking about climate change in town hall meetings, with obligatory reference to the increasingly ferocious tornadoes and hurricanes. “Climate change” and “green jobs” would become synonymous—a mantra seared into GOP political lexicon as Republicans declare that their legislation simultaneously creates jobs, limits greenhouse gases and stimulates the economy. Yes, Republicans would be ready to steamroll Democrats on this one.
For GOP leaders, Irene would be an opportunity to stoke the passions of environmentalists. They would urge activists to hold rallies in Washington and across the country. The GOP media machine—led by Roger Ailes at Fox—would parade environmental leaders on television and talk radio pontificating about local struggles to shut down polluting coal-fired plants, the imperative to raise CAFE standards for autos, insulate buildings and retrofit solar panels—the whole kitchen sink. Rightwing talking heads would be in full swing, prodding activists to hunt down “Democrat” lawmakers at “town halls” to demand they stop protecting Big Oil’s profits at the expense of our country’s future.
For GOP lighting rods like Michelle Bachmann and Sara Palin, climate change would be manna from heaven—red meat for the party faithful. They would be browbeating Democrats for standing in the way of strong regulations and shilling for corporate polluters (yes, they’d say it despite both parties’ footsy-playing with industry—they don’t care about the hypocrisy). Palin and Bachmann would be mocking Democrats for aligning themselves with a fringe element that hates science and would endanger our national security and the planet. Of course, GOP candidates would already have made climate change a central issue in the presidential election, and aiming to place it high up on the 2012 party platform.
As expected, GOP strategists would have learned how to capitalize on disasters from their successful experiment in New Orleans, where they quickly moved in after Katrina and expanded charter schools. Thus, a salivating GOP would seize this moment to remind all Americans affected by Irene that climate change is real and urge them to demand immediate congressional action.
For maximum impact, rightwing pundits would cite the Pentagon’s finding that climate change constitutes “a grave national security threat” and the military’s plans to cope. On Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol would advise that invoking the military in this debate “is strategically brilliant” because Democratic are vulnerable on anything to do with "our men and women in uniform."
On the O’Reilly Factor, Ann Coulter would taunt President Obama for lacking “the kahunas” to take on corporate polluters. She would point to Obama’s cozy relationship with the likes of Exelon, and his silence on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. Sean Hannity would harangue the “liberal media” for ignoring the words “climate change” in their coverage of Hurricane Irene. Rightwing hothead and former UN ambassador John Bolton would announce on Fox his new campaign for a new international climate treaty. It would carry heavy sanctions—even military action—against countries that did not sign on.
Finally, GOP leaders would be all over the hypocrisy of Democratic governors for stoking hatred of government even as they, in this crisis moment, expect emergency relief from the federal government. On the campaign trail and in presidential debates, GOP candidates would use Irene to highlight the indispensable role of government not just in public safety, but in healthcare access, infrastructure investment, helping foreclosure victims and reining in predatory banks, and alleviating poverty—that silent but ongoing emergency for millions of women, men and children. They would forc efully explain to voters that paying taxes is not a subversive notion, but an act of patriotism.
 Yes, sir, that’s exactly what the GOP would do if it were the party of climate change.

(Are you listening, Democrats?)

Fortunately, James Thindwa lives very much in the real world, where he is a Chicago-based labor and community activist. He also writes for In These Times and serves on its board of directors.
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04 September 2011

Scorching August sets record as Fort Collins' hottest ever | The Coloradoan | coloradoan.com

Interestingly enough, we were just discussing the change in summers here in northern Colorado. My conversation partner is a young woman who has lived a large percentage of her life here, and we were both remarking that things began to change during her High School years, how the heat had increased to the point that many times in summer it was a challenge to make yourself go outside.

This is quite a statement from someone who is clearly a fan of sun and warmth.

Northern Colorado was a wonderfully temperate place. When I was young and visited the Centennial State, the weather and the people were profoundly different enough to make me determined to move back to Colorado once I'd "grown up".

Well, after almost a decade of struggles in the job market, I finally made it back. By this time it was 1988 and Colorado's climate had begun to change. In 1998, due to the vagaries of life and work around the Defense Department, I moved to northern Colorado, just 50 miles south of the Wyoming border.

Here I am, in 2011, it's hotter, drier, and the weather is weirder than I've seen in almost 24 years. Unfortunately, this all just confirms what I already know is happening around the world. Since I tolerate floods better than I tolerate heat, I may be looking to move farther north, possibly even moving to the other side of the Continental Divide. I haven't decided yet. At present, we'll see how things go. This chunk of Colorado is one of the few that has relatively minimal impacts, so it may be worth staying.

We'll see.

Blazing summer proves to be fourth hottest

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If this summer has seemed hotter than usual, it's no illusion.

Last month was the hottest and fifth-driest August recorded in Fort Collins, and this summer has shaped up to be the fourth-hottest in 123 years of recordkeeping at Colorado State University.

This summer's heat is part of a trend: The eight-hottest summers on record here have all occurred since 2000.

"The fact of the matter is, the state as a whole has had many of the warm summers since the late 1990s," said Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken.

"That's consistent with what many climate scientists predict will be part of a response to greenhouse gas emissions. Whether we can make that direct tie, I don't know, but it's certainly a correlation."

Eight temperature records were either tied or broken in August, with one of the hottest records shattered on Thursday when Fort Collins' high of 97 degrees broke the previous Aug. 31 record of 95 set in 1960, according to Colorado Climate Center data released Thursday.

The highest temperature of the month was reached on Aug. 23, when the high of 98 degrees that day shattered the previous record of 94 set in 1919.

On Aug. 28, the nighttime temperature failed to dip below 65 degrees, shattering the record for highest low temperature for that date - 61 degrees - tied in 1929, 2002 and 2010.

The average temperature for August was 74.3 degrees, or 4.1 degrees above normal for the month, putting last month atop the list of hottest Augusts on record.

Not only was the month hot, but it was exceptionally dry, too. The city received only 0.16 inches of rain, 1.43 inches below normal for the month, which was the fifth driest ever in the city. The last year August saw less rain was 1974.

For the three-month summer season - June, July and August - this summer is the fourth hottest on record, with an average temperature of 72.2 degrees, only a few tenths of a degree below the all-time record set in 2006 when the average summer temperature was 72.8 degrees.

"We were clearly part of a large-scale regional persisting weather pattern," Doesken said. "That heat wave and drought over Texas extended out in all directions."

With the heat in Fort Collins rising to 91 degrees or higher, the first day of September didn't break the heat wave.

However, it isn't rare for 90-degree temperatures to occur in late summer and early fall. Fort Collins has even seen 90-degree heat in October, Doesken said.

The heat won't last, though, said Don Day of DayWeather in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Cool air is expected to settle in over the weekend, with some areas of Northern Colorado expected to see high temperatures around 80 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.

The high on Sunday in Fort Collins is expected to be 75.

"The temperatures are going to start to inch back up Sunday and Monday," Day said. "Next week, it looks very September-like. There's a bit of a weak cool front coming in the middle to the end of next week. We'll be returning a lot closer to normal."