July 19, 2019

Seacht n-óige na coille, an aeir, na mara, an talmhan

Seacht n-óige na coille: faoisceog, fuinnseog, sciachóg, beathóg, rudóg [roideog], fearnóg, daróg (vars. dreasóg, saileog)

Seacht n-óige an aeir: amhlóg, ailleog, luaireog, fuideog [feadóg], truideog [druid], spideog, seabhóg [searróg] (vars. buidheog [buíóg], uiseog [fuiseog], fionnóg [feannóg], tonnóg [tonóg])

Seacht n-óige na mara: madóg, hadóg (cadóg), luthróg [leathóg], leideog, faofóg [faochóg], báirneog, claosóg [crosóg] (vars. gobóg, crainneog [gráinneog])

Seacht n-óige an talmhan: iaróg [eareog], flanóg [flannóg], cnamhóg [crumhóg], luchóg (incomplete)

(Omeath, List of words, chiefly from Omeath, and Mid. Ulster by Rev. Lawrence Murray)

—from entry for “-óg, -eog”, Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla, Patrick Dinneen, 1927

Seven “óg” names of the forest: filbert, ash, whitethorn, bog-myrtle, alder, oak (briar, white willow)
Seven “óg” names of the air: jennet, swallow, sea-gull, plover, starling, robin, gunnel (yellow-hammer, lark, hooded crow, duck)
Seven “óg” names of the sea: lamprey, haddock, flat-fish, plaice, periwinkle, barnacle, starfish (eel, urchin)
Seven “óg” names of the earth: pullet, stoat, maggot, mouse

July 17, 2019

The misjudgement of history

The ever-tedious columnist at Vermont Digger, David Moats, 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner, invokes a fire and brimstone judgement of history on border detention facilities. He even pulls in 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson to argue how loving and tolerant the Puritans were.

Reader Ruby Bode commented:

Marilynne Robinson’s apologia for the Puritans would appear to be an apologia in fact for the new McCarthyist witch hunt triggered by Trump winning the 2016 election, an attempt to bestow the moral righteousness of, e.g., John Brown (cf. Robinson’s “Gilead”) on antidemocratic sore losers. But she compares two actual governing codes (both from the south, of course [no apologia for those bastards!]) to a “list of proposals for good government written by the Puritan Hugh Peter”. Since the Puritans are indeed “commonly viewed as sexually repressed, witch-burning hysterics” (because they were), it would have been more interesting to explore the differences between Peter’s ideals and the realities of Puritan government.

[That’s exactly what the border issue is about: ideals versus reality.]

Bode also commented:

When you cross any border with a child, you have to have proof that you are the parent or legal guardian. That’s why “families” are separated until it can be determined that they are in fact families. If that weren’t done, there would be an outcry for not bothering to check. Furthermore, it’s rarely a whole “family” coming over. It’s usually just one parent and one child, who has been separated from the rest of the family to be used cynically as a prop to better game the famously laxly enforced border laws of the USA. As to the conditions of detention, Trump has been requesting [from day 1] the needed funding to adequately respond to the surges of would-be refugees, but the Dems (and many Repubs) have refused. One might think they would rather see children suffer so they can have something to grandstand on and beat up Trump about. Finally, there’s a big difference between immigration and illegally crossing the border.

[I would add that nobody among these New Puritans seems to be suggesting any solution other than shutting the whole legal system down, opening the borders (in only one direction of course) and giving anybody coming in full rights of residency, no limits, with no concern for American workers (immigrants recent and long ago) and plenty of profits for Wall St.]

Another reader, William Workman, commented:

Over and over, Democrats have overplayed their hands. They used the outrage over child separations to push catch-and-release of another 100,000 illegal immigrants. Trump blurs the line between illegal immigrants and hardened criminals, so Democrats blur the line between legal and illegal immigrants. Now every major Democratic candidate is on record as supporting decriminalizing border crossings, offering free health care, no deportations even for illegals violating court orders, and a path to citizenship. Now this column, which equates safely and respectfully deporting Vermont’s illegals with concentration camps. As though the law itself were immaterial.

Here’s another comment by Bode, to a commentary by writer Dan Close:

What about everyone who has refused to accept the result of the 2016 election? The elected and other officials who have pursued witch hunts and domestic regime change instead of embracing the workings of democracy? Those, like Dan Close, who cannot be honest about anything concerning President Trump, as if we have not had an increasingly imperial Presidency since Reagan? Trump is actually more lawful, much more transparent, and more progressive (regarding trade to benefit American workers instead of Wall St and war – no new ones, not even an actual coup, so far) than his predecessors, both Republican and Democrat. If any[one] burns down the Reichstag, so to speak, it will be the Dems themselves – after committing to the destructive agendas of neoliberalism and neoconservativism – so they can blame it on Trump. It is dangerous projection.

April 5, 2019

Trump said that wind turbines cause cancer!

Do stress and lack of sleep contribute to the development of cancer, as with other diseases?  Yes.

Does wind turbine noise raise stress levels and disrupt sleep?  Yes.

The World Health Organization has recognized the importance to health of uninterrupted sleep and has recommended outdoor noise limits for wind turbines: <https://wind-watch.org/doc/?p=5227>

It’s very difficult to be definite about any environmentally caused illness, because so many variables are involved. But reports have been consistent since around 2000, when the size of wind turbines increased dramatically, of many people suffering a similar set of symptoms after nearby wind turbines start operating. When they leave the area, they experience relief from the overt symptoms (eg, headache, dizziness, feeling of pressure, stress, depression, irritability). The cause is thus quite obvious.

Pets and other animals are similarly affected.

Dr. Nina Pierpont coined the term “Wind Turbine Syndrome” for those symptoms, which also include sleep disturbance and deprivation, tinnitus (ringing in ears), ear pressure, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia (fast heart rate), irritability, problems with concentration and memory, and panic episodes associated with sensations of movement or quivering inside the body. She attributed these effects to inner ear disturbances caused by infrasound and low-frequency noise (ILFN), akin to motion sickness.

As with motion sickness, people have different sensitivities, which also complicates the epidemiology.

Interested acoustical engineers then began measuring ILFN near large wind turbines and did indeed find that pulsing ILFN is a characteristic component of their noise.

In fact, the phenomenon had been documented in the early 1980s by NASA scientists investigating complaints by neighbors of an experimental large wind turbine (which size was not available commercially until around 2000).

See: “Health Effects of Noise from Large Wind Turbines

In December 2011, Denmark added a 20-dBA limit on low-frequency noise (10–160 Hz) inside homes.

In Portugal, researchers led by Mariana Alves-Pereira have studied longer-term physical changes in the lungs, heart, and muscles caused by ILFN. They called it “vibroacoustic disease” and have documented conditions near wind turbines that are as bad as for the cases they studied of people living near heavy industrial sites.

The science is still relatively new, but the effect of noise, whether audible or infrasonic, is increasingly recognized as a valid concern in siting wind turbines near homes and places of work.

For example, in 2017 Vermont implemented a nighttime limit of 39 dBA 100 feet from any nonparticipating residence with the goal of keeping the interior sound level below 30 dBA. See also: <http://wndfo.net/ords>

[Also see: Wind farms do make you sick” (Irish Daily Mail, 16 Oct 2015)]

March 30, 2019

Where is the love? «Watershed Moment on the Mall» by Bill Martin

Bill Martin writes at Counterpunch (excerpts):

… reductions that have become extreme in this period: science to technology, art to entertainment, love to sexuality, and politics to power. All of these reductions are inherent in capitalism (as Marx argued long ago, regarding the reduction of all qualities to quantity), but in postmodern capitalism the reductions become both extreme and commonplace, nothing to even think about anymore. This is a world where “judgment,” in the Kantian sense, becomes merely wanting or not wanting, there’s no question of analysis or understanding. To use the Buddhist term, there’s no question of “discernment.”

The reduction of real politics to mere power machination, which I also call anti-politics, gives rise to virulent hatred as the immediate go-to position when the opportunity arises. The Washington Mall incident is a watershed in that it solidified the “immediate go-to” stance of the IdPol Left, both in the hatred and the sheer opportunism that was in evident in this moment. …

The problem is that, even those institutions that are created to give expression to the creative unfolding of human autonomy can come to stand in for this autonomy; thereby, people come to serve the institutions rather than the other way around.

In pre-modern times in the West, this was mainly a problem of the Church; in modern times this is the problem of the State. It seems entirely likely that the problem is especially difficult in the case of the secular state, because then there is not even the presumption of some transcendent basis for values, laws, or the workings of the state apparatus. Now add to this a “politics” built around nothing more than mere interests and groups defined by the interests of identities, and the result is the sort of noxious brew we know today.

What had been a fragmentary array of grasping human animals becomes weaponized for the sake of the powers and interests that operate within the State. Indeed, the efforts of the Democratic Party and the IdPol Left have amounted to an institutionalization of self-righteous hate …

To summarize, what we are seeing is human grasping ever-more completely molded to the power imperatives of postmodern capitalism. In “The Fourth Hypothesis,” I argued that we are not seeing, with the Trump Disruption, anything like the truly political response (not reaction) that is needed; perhaps, though, we are seeing a possible bridge, or set of bridges, toward this response. These possible bridges are what the immediate hateful response is aimed at shutting down: don’t even think for a moment that there is an alternative to neoliberal globalism—in fact, don’t even think, don’t ever think, period. Just give full reign to your hate, and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’re not one of the deplorables.

(Of course, for white males, your facial expression, your posture, or anything, really, may turn you into a deplorable and an object of hatred at a moment’s notice. Whatever, that’s cool.) …

[T]he ruling forces in U.S. society have embraced Identity Politics, as the best way of presenting a “liberal, democratic” cover for neoliberal, finance-capital centered, globalist capitalism. The “left,” congealed behind the anti-Trump movement and, in reality, the Democratic Party (whatever the left may say or tell themselves), has fallen hook, line, and sinker for this ideology. In its media and other manifestations, among ordinary people, this ideology appears most often in a merely “reactive” form, and in fact is quite often outright reactionary. There is no emancipatory content to it whatsoever. …

Tucker Carlson spoke to those who would pronounce judgment on the Covington boys from on high:

‘What’s so fascinating about all these attacks is how inverted they are. These are high school kids from Kentucky. Do they really have more privilege than Alex Kranz from Gizmodo? Probably not, in fact probably much less. They’re far less privileged in fact than virtually everyone who has called for them to be destroyed on the basis that they have too much privilege. Consider Karen Swisher, opinion columnist from the New York Times. Swisher went to Princeton, Georgetown, and Columbia. She’s become rich and famous by toadying up to tech CEOs. … Is she more privileged than the boys at Coventry Catholic high school? Of course she is. Maybe that’s why she feels the need to call them Nazis, which she did, repeatedly.

‘So what’s really going on here? It’s not really about race. …

‘This is about people in power protecting their power, and justifying their power by destroying and mocking those weaker than they are. Why? Simple. Our leaders have not improved the lives of most people in America. They can’t admit that, because it would discredit them. So instead they attack the very people they’ve failed.

‘The problem with Kentucky, they’ll tell you, isn’t the bad policies that hurt the people who live there. It’s that the people who live there are immoral because they’re bigots. They deserve their poverty and opioid addiction. They deserve to die young. That’s what our leaders tell themselves. And now that’s what they’re telling us. Just remember: they’re lying when they do.’ (Tucker Carlson Tonight, opening segment, 1.21.19) …
[P]ower either destroys or assimilates what is outside of it, unless prevented from doing so. What seems unprecedented, though, and yet now “typical” and normalized for our “New Egypt” (Weber), totally-administered society (Adorno), society of the spectacle (Debord) is that neoliberal power now has well-ordered career tracks for leftists of various kinds, though especially for those who have attached their leftism or supposed radicalism to various “identities.” …

Some new kinds of radicalism came out of this diversification, and much of that has been good, too, but there has also been an important element missing in this scene—“diversity” here meant gender, race, and sexuality, but not class. Indeed, just as the rise of the diversity bureaucracy parallels the rise of the new administrative class in the university, the rise of a more diverse faculty and student body parallels a reinforcement of the existing class structure. This is of course not surprising, since it is one well-established imperative of “higher” education to maintain class structure and to create barriers to any shifting of this structure.

Again, there is a great deal to talk about here, but for present purposes let us leave it that the diversity bureaucracy, with Title IX and similar administrative offices at its head, has come into existence to manage this new state of affairs, and in a way that actually coopts a great deal of “left” and even “radical” rhetoric of the Sixties, but bends this rhetoric to the maintenance of the neoliberal State and economy.

The role of State Feminism is crucial here, and we might characterize this non-emancipatory “feminism” as what gets us from Simone de Beauvoir to Hillary Clinton and beyond. …

Mao Zedong enunciated the idea that revolutionaries need to base themselves on the politically advanced, win over the middle, and isolate the backward. … Who are “the advanced” and “the middle” today? That is a really tough question. What may not be as tough is to identify “the backward.” Certainly, on the “right,” or among “conservatives,” there are some people who are hardened racists, misogynists, homophobes, and even “fascists” (to the extent this last term makes sense without a mass fascist movement). I think there are fewer of these hardened reactionaries than the IdPol Left likes to think, and I mean “likes” here in the sick sense in which this “Left” goes on about racism, fascism, etc. They do like the idea that there are great many hardened and hateful reactionaries out there, especially among the “white working class,” because it justifies what the IdPol Left is about: hating most people, hating the working class, thinking most people are stupid, thinking they themselves are so bloody smart, thinking they are part of some sort of “Resistance” or “anti-fascist movement.” In their own self-righteous dogmatism and self-aggrandizement, then, I would say the Democrats and the IdPol Left are the backward of this moment.

This world is topsy-turvy, we cannot rely on the conventional categories of “left” and “right,” etc. And we have to be especially wary of career- and academic-leftists (and Hollywood-types) who are overly interested in increasing their own power, prestige, visibility, or paychecks, and where their ideologies and even personas are shaped by these interests.

[[[[ o ]]]]

It’s a resistance that needs “fascists” to make sense of itself. Nothing good will come of it. …

The overriding theme here, in this whole question of the Washington Mall incident, and in addressing these comments, has to be the readiness of those who presently identity as left to have hate and vitriol as their immediate go-to reaction when it comes to anything they disagree with. …

[R]eal politics comes from an affirmation that is not simply the negation of a negation. Yes, the latter is in play, and has to be dealt with, but the affirmation of a creative human act (whether it be in politics, science, love, or art) has to exceed the work of the negative. …

The IdPol Left (and Hillary Clinton’s noxious “Love trumps Hate” bullshit and the way all the Dems got fired up by it) vastly overestimates—for their own purposes—the amount of hate involved in motivating the so-called “right” and the deplorables. This is just self-justification for the IdPol Left and liberals to hate even more in return. …

That the IdPol Left needs “fascism” and “white supremacy” in order to make sense of itself, and that a white male who has been bullied by other white males in his life has an emotional reaction to what he thinks he sees in the face of a white 16-year-old boy is not a basis for understanding anything in the world today. Indeed, these sorts of reactions ought to make anyone interested in an actual, critical examination of things question this liberal and left narrative. It’s the sort of need for fascism and these feeling-based reactions that have made the left dupes of the Democratic Party.

Of course there is real white supremacy in this world, in this society. But I think there is far less of it in actual white people than what the IdPol Left narrative claims. There is resentment that has been intentionally stirred up in many white people, especially white working-class people, by both the IdPol Left and a handful of truly racist agitators, for their own purposes. There are many people from the working class who have had it with being told they are deplorable and worthless and simply shit, and now they seem to be told this not only by privileged white liberals and other privileged professionals and academics, but also by this so-called “left,” such as represented by my former Kasama comrades. Who does all of this serve? It would be very hard to show that this serves any emancipatory purpose whatsoever. …

But what good and decent person has the immediately hateful reaction that so many liberals and leftists did toward Nick Sandmann? —and, by the way, it seems that overwhelmingly, the people who had this reaction are themselves white and middle class.

In this series:
The Christine Blasey Ford Episode: State Feminism, the Worthless “Left,” and Liberal Delusions
The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend
The Fourth Hypothesis: the Present Juncture of the Trump Clarification and the Watershed Moment on the Washington Mall
Watershed Moment on the Mall

February 22, 2019

«The Fourth Hypothesis: the Present Juncture of the Trump Clarification and the Watershed Moment on the Washington Mall» by Bill Martin

Bill Martin writes at Counterpunch (excerpts):

[T]he “hate-work” of this anti-Trump “resistance” has the “positive” outcome for the resisters of allowing them to puff themselves up with self-satisfaction and self-righteousness, and with a kind of certitude that one would think would be reserved for some truly revolutionary emergence or flowering of a new truth upon the scene. But, of course, a new truth is not only quite obviously not a part of the Lib-Left agenda, they themselves are quite clear on not wanting anything of that sort. They are beyond being anti-revolutionary, they are rabid in their rhetoric and other efforts toward getting back to the stable status quo of the establishment. An extra-bonus for the white middle-class professional and academic males who are rushing to be a part of this ridiculous and horrible mob of hate-mongers, is that their militant virtue-signaling represents a truly toxic masculinity, added to the already obnoxious self-righteousness of the ridiculous, LARPing, social media anti-Trump movement. …

What the Left has in fact “achieved” is a situation where the previous exaggerations and dystopian fantasies of right-wingers have been brought to life. What were previously absurd or at least highly-exaggerated characterizations such as “feminazi” and “anti-white racism” are now realities. …

[T]he reaction of the haters has been to accuse anyone who says that we need to look again and think again of “gaslighting.” … [I]t doesn’t matter what happens to any individual in the momentous resistance struggle of the anti-Trumpers (who so bravely put themselves on the line on social media every day!) and, in this great struggle for IdPol justice there cannot be any second thoughts, further investigation, etc.—in fact, there cannot be any thinking or investigation, period, that just gets in the way. So, it’s just a matter of the right word for dismissing any movement toward thinking and investigation—in this case, the word is gaslightling. Of course, then you can have a few more epithets thrown in for good measure, “fascist,” “racist,” etc. …

This is a wonderful moment for the establishment, when it can all get together on one goal, and have the neocons on board with the neoliberals, and the IdPol Left cheering them on. And it’s a terrible moment for the rest of humanity; what better symbol of this than hatefully beating up on a smiling teenager just because he stood where he was already standing, waiting on a bus back to a small town in Kentucky? …

It would be the easiest thing in the world to walk away from this, [but] the alternative is back to the neoliberal slow-boil of the frog, along with redoubled effort to make sure nothing like the Trump disruption slips through the establishment’s nets again. …

Please remember, we are talking about ordinary working people, the working class, for the first time in decades. When the establishment gets back in full charge …, this discourse on the working class will be shut down, and workers of all colors, genders, etc. will be punished, and not just the deplorables. …

We could say there are three hypotheses and a fourth hypothesis. The first two hypotheses are those that are heard all the time, and represent the two poles of conventional “politics.” The third hypothesis represents the rejection of these politics; it is heard some of the time, but generally drowned out by the loud shouts of those advocating the first two hypotheses. … The third hypothesis is that there are no real and lasting solutions within the system to the basic problems the system is encountering. … And yet the existing system seeks to perpetuate itself come what may. Therefore, the only real solution to the deep and humanly-devastating problems of the system is the creation of another system: a revolution. …

[T]he idea that they’re fighting fascism and they’re part of some “resistance” … sounds a lot better than just being tools of the establishment, and they’ll hope for some reward when the establishment reestablishes itself fully; there probably will be some reward, on the backs of the ordinary working people, in other words the deplorables, who very likely will be punished. So, it also helps to consider ordinary working people as deplorable, so you don’t have to feel bad for them. As things get back to “normal” and more jobs are sent away, the Identity Politics and State Feminism crowd can just raise a big ol’ chorus of “Check your privilege!” …

The establishment, with the Democrats and the left (including State Feminism) leading the way, have done a brilliant job, and I don’t mean this sarcastically, of pushing the abandonment of the third hypothesis. All one hears from the anti-Trump movement is either that “revolution is not in the offing for the foreseeable future” or that “there’s never going to be a revolution.” … What is important here is that, if revolution is not in the offing in the near future, it is for the same reason that Trump is not a fascist and is not installing a fascist system in the U.S.—there is no general crisis of American capitalism at this time. …

There is not a crisis for these institutions of capitalism, but there is a major annoyance for the establishment. This annoyance is all the more galling to them because they had done everything to ensure that their operative would be in the White House. …

The fourth hypothesis is that sometimes there is an element that arises in the system that is not fully contained or circumscribed within the system; this element can act as a bridge to further action outside the system to bring about systemic transformation. …

This element—let’s just call it the “bridge”— … exists despite the calculations of the system, and yet it also exists because the system has attempted to do everything it could to prevent the bridge from existing, or perhaps “emerging” is the better word. …

[W]e have the bright young things of middle-class academia on the one side, and the deplorables on the other. It seems reasonable to assert that the general functioning of the existing system depends on the idea that “neither the twain shall meet.” The experience of radical uprisings and actual revolutions, on the other hand, very often seems to show that people have to cross the lines laid down by the establishment for something really new to happen.

This crossing of lines happened in 1968, when the workers joined the students of France in revolt. Now what could go much further in France is if the students and more middle-strata people joined the workers wearing the Yellow Jerseys. In the light of what an explosive combination could result, it is not hard to see why the IdPol-Left has to keep pushing the line that the working class in the U.S. is deplorable—backward and reactionary.

It is more than obvious, then, that the system has every interest in keeping such a meeting from happening. Indeed, the establishment has every interest in encouraging the contradictions among the people to become increasingly antagonistic. Despite there being a real basis in historical social reality for what has been fashioned into Identity Politics (and this basis remains to be addressed in the serious, deep, and thorough-going way that is necessary), sometimes it almost seems as if Identity Politics came together through conscious and less-conscious efforts aimed precisely at deepening the contradictions among the peopleand leaving violent confrontation as the only form of addressing these contradictions. …

[O]ne thing that is absolutely necessary is to call out the deplorable-ploy for what it is, a way to divide people against each other, with no emancipatory purpose whatsoever—indeed, quite the opposite, and this is how the Democrats have become a completely reactionary organization, no matter what “exciting, fresh faces” they put forward. …

My other point here, though, is that the left that is under the sway of State Feminism and Identity Politics has come to the place where anything to do with the working class and anything to do with universalist emancipatory goals is just off the table and is met with insults. So, if these things are going to get back on the table, they will almost certainly come from unexpected places, and those of us who really do support the third hypothesis will need to figure out ways to encourage and support the fourth hypothesis.

To return to the larger point, beyond this crazy campus world: to put things very simply, an uprising of deplorables will be painted as a “race war,” unless there is significant progress in building the kind of bridges that need to be built. …

The question is first of all the disruption that the election of Trump creates in system, the clarification that this disruption provides, and the experiments that this disruption may make possible. …

This is the moment when ordinary people Democrats and IdPol Leftists need to break with their hatred—they need to break with this very openly, they need to apologize and criticize themselves for going along with or furthering the hatred and vitriol shown in their reaction to Nick Sandmann and his classmates. You need to strive toward redemption in this moment, and if you cannot do that, then I do not see how your hateful dogmatic mindset and comportment can be helpful to anyone, in any way. I do not see how the Democratic Party built around this sort of thing could even conceivably give rise to anything that is even remotely defensible. … In the meantime, find something better to do than poisoning everything and your own selves with hate. … Even apart from your vitriolic emotionalism, the problem is not that you aren’t “smart,” it’s that you think you already know everything. …

Here we see why the IdPol Left, and most of what we have called “the left” until now, is in an epistemological rut—they know too much, they know everything, and so when new things emerge, they will not see these things. …

The deplorable working people of the U.S. need to come forward in a new kind of way, a way that takes up the path in France that has been opened up by the Yellow Jerseys, and a way that deepens the significance of work, real work, for what this society is and could be. There has to be the absolute recognition of the worker, of the working people, as central to this society, as central to any society, which also means the absolute demand that there be work—good work, work whereby people can have a decent life and also expand their range as people, and work that also shows its value in terms of not allowing financiers (and their political representatives) who do nothing that should be termed “work” to steal and control (and often undermine) the value that this work creates.

In this series:
The Christine Blasey Ford Episode: State Feminism, the Worthless “Left,” and Liberal Delusions
The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend
The Fourth Hypothesis: the Present Juncture of the Trump Clarification and the Watershed Moment on the Washington Mall
Watershed Moment on the Mall

January 25, 2019

On MAGA hats and confirmation bias

"El Rucio" wrote on Twitter, Jan 24:

If a #MAGA hat is inherently aggressive "speech", what is calling "half of Trump's supporters … the basket of deplorables. … irredeemable, … not America"?

In fact, it's that dismissive fear-mongering attempt to delegitimize and punish political opinion (because it repudiates the neolib/neocon paradigm and gives voice to the latter's victims) that excuses all manner of violence against people showing support for their President.

Remember when black men were lynched for "looking" at someone the wrong way? Obviously very different triggers on a deeper level, but the reactions reflect a very similar hateful mob mentality, fearful as well as self-righteous.

Actually, are the triggers so different? The people who "run" things (and the people who think they are intrinsic parts of that system, or at least benefiting from it) are told (and presented with evidence) that they are not doing a very good job. …

… They completely deny it and smear the messenger (the people) in every way they can, even to physical violence.

They entrench themselves deeper and deeper into their own delusions. Reality, reason, even human feeling can no longer reach them.

Also, on Jan 25:

#ConfirmationBias: It's the only game in town, thanks to social media. #Resist it!

January 16, 2019

Rhetorical fallacies: Propaganda in 4 D’s

Ben Nimmo, of Nato’s PR agency Atlantic Council, has simplified the tactics of propaganda to 4 “D”s: Dismiss (ad hominem), Distort (straw man), Distract (tu quoque), and Dismay, the last of which as he describes it is more like “Threaten”, but Nimmo had apparently committed himself to all D’s.

Also, Dismay/Threaten isn’t actually propaganda, let alone a rhetorical fallacy of logic. The examples Nimmo gives are in fact responses of the target to the actions that the propaganda program (the 3 D’s) is in support of.

There is a more apt fourth D that Nimmo chose not to admit to: Doxx. When the first 3 D’s fail, then simply destroy the life of the person still in your way. In fact, that is the implicit goal of the first 3 D’s. Nimmo’s use of “Dismay” – actually the response of the target of propaganda – obscures that final step of the propagandist, instead presenting the victim’s reaction with the implication that it provides the propagandist reason to Destroy him. So Nimmo’s Dismay is there to provide justification when he is driven – by frustration that his propaganda and provocation are not working as hoped – to the ultimate D, Destroy.

Nimmo focuses on Russian PR efforts, particularly in its response to Nato’s actions against her, and others have applied his model to Donald Trump. The 4 D’s apply much more aptly, however, to the work of the Atlantic Council’s own anti-Russian campaign, as well as to the anti-Trump media, the anti-Brexit media, the anti-Corbyn and anti–Bernie Sanders media – the whole machinery working to protect the neoliberal and neoconservative programs of global capital that have wreaked havoc on the world and people’s lives for almost 40 years.

An unspoken fifth D is both the beginning and the end of Nimmo’s cycle: Delusion. Propaganda is a failure of argument. Without a winning argument, and unwilling to accept more persuasive evidence, one may resort to rhetorical fallacies – propaganda – to preserve one’s delusions. If it works, even if only to retain the loyalty or faith of one’s own fellow travelers, or even just to convince oneself, then the cycle only worsens as it becomes increasingly removed from reality.

Nimmo concisely presents the propaganda efforts of such Dead-enders by projecting what is clearly an in-house strategy guide as the nefarious tactics of his perceived enemies.