Tag Archives: fake news

NBC News: the U.S. Putting Out Phony Intel As Part of ‘Info War’ With Russia

Source: Chris Menahan | Information Liberation

The US lied about Russia moving chemical weapons to the border of Ukraine, lied about China giving Russia arms, and lied about Putin being misled by his advisors as part of an “info war” with Russia, according to a new report from NBC News. 

From NBC News, “In a break with the past, U.S. is using intel to fight an info war with Russia, even when the intel isn’t rocked solid”:

It was an attention-grabbing assertion that made headlines around the world: U.S. officials said they had indications suggesting Russia might be preparing to use chemical agents in Ukraine.

President Joe Biden later said it publicly. But three U.S. officials told NBC News this week there is no evidence Russia has brought any chemical weapons near Ukraine.
 They said the U.S. released the information to deter Russia from using the banned munitions.

It’s one of a string of examples of the Biden administration’s breaking with recent precedent by deploying declassified intelligence as part of an information war against Russia. The administration has done so even when the intelligence wasn’t rock solid, officials said, to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin off balance. Coordinated by the White House National Security Council, the unprecedented intelligence releases have been so frequent and voluminous, officials said, that intelligence agencies had to devote more staff members to work on the declassification process, scrubbing the information so it wouldn’t betray sources and methods.

The US lied about WMDs, lied about Saddam working with Al-Qaeda, and lied about Assad gassing his own people. 

On the same note, they lied about Trump being in bed with Russia and lied about Jan 6 being an “insurrection.”

To suggest our intelligence community putting out phony intel is a “break” from the past is just comical. It’s also comical to suggest this propaganda was to target Putin and not con the war-weary general public into supporting the war effort.

As the war has proceeded, the administration has used intelligence to warn of possible Russian actions and draw attention to Russian military failings.

At times, the Biden administration has released information in which it has less confidence or about things that are possible rather than truly likely.

Last week, U.S. officials told reporters they had intelligence suggesting Putin is being misled by his own advisers, who are afraid to tell him the truth.

But when Biden was asked about the disclosure later in the day — after it made headlines around the globe — he was less than definitive.

“That’s an open question. There’s a lot of speculation,” Biden told reporters. “But he seems to be — I’m not saying this with a certainty — he seems to be self-isolating.”

The degree to which Putin is isolated or relying on flawed information can’t be verified, said Paul Pillar, a retired career U.S. intelligence officer. “There’s no way you can prove or disprove that stuff,” he said.

Two U.S. officials said the intelligence about whether Putin’s inner circle was lying to him wasn’t conclusive — based more on analysis than hard evidence.
 Other officials disputed that, saying the intelligence was very reliable and had been vetted at the highest levels.

The New York Times reported a week ago it was a psyop.

In another disclosure, U.S. officials said one reason not to provide Ukraine with MiG fighter jets is that intelligence showed Russia would view the move as escalatory.

That was true, but it was also true of Stinger missiles, which the Biden administration did provide, two U.S. officials said, adding that the administration declassified the MiG information to bolster the argument not to provide them to Ukraine.

Likewise, a charge that Russia had turned to China for potential military help lacked hard evidence, a European official and two U.S. officials said. 

The U.S. officials said there are no indications China is considering providing weapons to Russia. The Biden administration put that out as a warning to China not to do so, they said.

The European official described the disclosure as “a public game to prevent any military support from China.”

These were all obvious lies and yet our controlled media put them all out without the slightest hint of skepticism, acting in essence as US intelligence operatives.

Tomorrow, they’ll dutifully put out more regime lies and disinformation fed to them from the exact same intelligence sources and demand those of us insisting it’s all lies get banned and censored off social media. 

FLASHBACK: Prominent MSNBC Producer Spread Misinformation to Cover for Hunter Biden

Hannah Nightingale
Mar 20, 2022 

As the Hunter Biden laptop story comes back into the national spotlight after The New York Times finally acknowledged the laptop’s legitimacy, a prominent MSNBC producer has been revealed to have previously stood by Facebook’s censoring of the story, saying it’s “a disputed report” containing “disinformation.”

In the lead-up to the election, on Oct. 14, 2020, shortly after the New York Post published their initial reporting on the laptop, Kyle Griffin, an executive producer at MSNBC, tweeted in support of Facebook’s censorship of the bombshell story.

“The Trump campaign claims Facebook is ‘censoring journalism’ because Facebook plans to limit the spread of the NY Post report. That is not censorship. Facebook is under no obligation to allow a disputed report that appears to contain disinformation to spread on their platform,” Griffin wrote in October 2020.

The New York Post‘s story resurfaced because of a recent New York Times article, in which the corporate media outlet wrote that they have now authenticated the contents of the laptop, which talk about Hunter Biden’s business dealings with Ukrainian energy company Burisma and world leaders.

The acknowledgment of the laptop by the major paper appeared to fall on deaf ears though with a number of former intelligence officials and media personalities, who still refuse to accept the recent revelation and decline to apologize over previous claims suggesting the story was “Russian disinformation.”

In a White House press conference last week, Biden press secretary Jen Psaki, who had dismissed the story as “Russian disinfo,” was grilled over her assessment.

In response to numerous questions, Psaki pointed reporters towards the Department of Justice and representatives of Biden’s son, saying “I’m a spokesperson for the United States; he doesn’t work for the United States.”

CNN Hits Historic Lows after Scandal-Filled Year

Hannah Nightingale
February 16th, 2022

CNN has hit yet another low last week, seeing its worst total day viewers in nearly eight years as its conservative counterpart Fox News continues to top the charts.

According to data reported by Fox News, the left-wing cable news network averaged just 444,000 total day viewers from Feb. 7 – 13, which is CNN’s worst performance in the category since November of 2015.

Fox News topped the category, bringing in 1.5 average total day viewers, and was the only basic cable news network to surpass the 1 million mark. The top five was rounded out with USA, MSNBC, HGTV, and Hallmark.

In the primetime slots, CNN didn’t fare much better, averaging just 491,000 primetime viewers. Meanwhile, Fox News brought in 2.4 million viewers for the same slot, topping CNN by 385 percent.

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” finished as the most-watched cable news program of the week, bringing in an average of 3.5 million viewers.

“The Five” finished in second, followed by “Jesse Watters Primetime,” “Hannity,” and “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

Fox News had 81 of the top 100 cable telecasts for the week.

CNN’s most popular show, “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” brought in an average audience of 663,000 viewers, with shows like “Ancient Aliens” on the History Channel, and Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Orange County” receiving more viewers.

As for morning shows, CNN’s “New Day” brought in just 363,000 viewers, and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” saw 763,000 viewers. For comparison, “FOX & Friends” averaged 1.4 million viewers, more than doubling the other two shows combined.

CNN saw another historic low with its weekend lineup, with just 57,000 viewers in the coveted marketing demographic of 25 – 54, marking the lowest viewership in the category in 25 years, according to Fox News data.

CNN has seen its viewership tank since the last two months of 2021, and into this year, have been embroiled in a number of scandals.

In early December, popular host Chris Cuomo was fired from his position after it was revealed that he had a larger part to play in defending his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, amidst allegations of sexual harassment.

Two producers for CNN shows were fired last year amidst allegations of sexual abuse of minors and soliciting photos from underaged girls.

Most recently, CNN president Jeff Zucker resigned from his post after he failed to disclose a romantic relationship with CNN’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer Allison Gollust.

In the wake of Zucker’s resignations, reports came out that Cuomo still intends to engage in a legal battle with his former network, reportedly intending to demand upwards of $60 million.

Fake News ‘vaccine’ Works: ‘pre-bunking’ Game Reduces Susceptibility to Disinformation

NEUROSCIENCE NEWS
JUNE 24, 2019

Summary: A new online game where users take on the role of fake news producers improves people’s ability to discern real information from disinformation, irrespective of education, age, cognitive style or political views.

Source: University of Cambridge

An online game in which people play the role of propaganda producers to help them identify real world disinformation has been shown to increase “psychological resistance” to fake news, according to a study of 15,000 participants.

In February 2018, University of Cambridge researchers helped launch the browser game Bad News. Thousands of people spent fifteen minutes completing it, with many allowing the data to be used for a study.

Players stoke anger and fear by manipulating news and social media within the simulation: deploying twitter bots, photo-shopping evidence, and inciting conspiracy theories to attract followers – all while maintaining a “credibility score” for persuasiveness.

“Research suggests that fake news spreads faster and deeper than the truth, so combatting disinformation after-the-fact can be like fighting a losing battle,” said Dr Sander van der Linden, Director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab.

“We wanted to see if we could pre-emptively debunk, or ‘pre-bunk’, fake news by exposing people to a weak dose of the methods used to create and spread disinformation, so they have a better understanding of how they might be deceived.

“This is a version of what psychologists call ‘inoculation theory’, with our game working like a psychological vaccination.”

To gauge the effects of the game, players were asked to rate the reliability of a series of different headlines and tweets before and after gameplay. They were randomly allocated a mixture of real (“control”) and fake news (“treatment”).

The study, published today in the journal Palgrave Communications, showed the perceived reliability of fake news before playing the game had reduced by an average of 21% after completing it. Yet the game made no difference to how users ranked real news.

The researchers also found that those who registered as most susceptible to fake news headlines at the outset benefited most from the “inoculation”.

“We find that just fifteen minutes of gameplay has a moderate effect, but a practically meaningful one when scaled across thousands of people worldwide, if we think in terms of building societal resistance to fake news,” said van der Linden.

Jon Roozenbeek, study co-author also from Cambridge University, said: “We are shifting the target from ideas to tactics. By doing this, we are hoping to create what you might call a general ‘vaccine’ against fake news, rather than trying to counter each specific conspiracy or falsehood.”

Roozenbeek and van der Linden worked with Dutch media collective DROG and design agency Gusmanson to develop Bad News, and the idea of a game to inoculate against fake news has attracted much attention.

Working with the UK Foreign Office, the team have translated the game into nine different languages, including German, Serbian, Polish and Greek. WhatsApp have commissioned the researchers to create a new game for their messaging platform.

The team have also created a “junior version” for children aged 8-10, available in ten different languages so far. “We want to develop a simple and engaging way to establish media literacy at a relatively early age, then look at how long the effects last,” said Roozenbeek.

This first set of results from Bad News has its limitations, say researchers. The sample was self-selecting (those who came across the game online and opted to play), and as such was skewed toward younger, male, liberal, and more educated demographics.

With this in mind, however, the study found the game to be almost equally effective across age, education, gender, and political persuasion. Bad News has ideological balance built in: players can choose to create fake news from the left and right of the political spectrum.

There are six “badges” to earn in the game, each reflecting a common strategy used by purveyors of fake news: impersonation; conspiracy; polarisation; discrediting sources; trolling; emotionally provocative content.

Due to limited bandwidth, in-game questions measuring the effects of Bad News were deployed for four of its featured fake news badges.

This shows the game on a cell phone

The fake news ‘vaccine’ game Bad News on a smartphone screen. The image is credited to DROG.

For the disinformation tactic of “impersonation”, often seen in the mimicking of trusted personalities on social media, the game reduced perceived reliability of the fake headlines and tweets by 24% from pre to post gameplay.

Bad News gameplay reduced perceived reliability of deliberately polarising headlines by about 10%, and “discrediting” – attacking a legitimate source with accusations of bias – by 19%.

For “conspiracy”, the spreading of false narratives blaming secretive groups for world events, perceived reliability was reduced by 20%.

“Our platform offers early evidence of a way to start building blanket protection against deception, by training people to be more attuned to the techniques that underpin most fake news,” added Roozenbeek.

32 Tips for Navigating A Society That is Full of Propaganda and Manipulation

by Caitlin Johnstone
June 5th, 2019

For as long as there has been human language, humans have been using it to manipulate one another. 

The fact that it is possible to skillfully weave a collection of symbolic mouth noises together in such a way as to extract favors, concessions, votes and consent from other humans has made manipulation so common that it now pervades our society from top to bottom, from personal relationships between two people to international relationships between government agencies and the public.

This has made it very difficult to figure out what’s going on, both in our lives and in the world.

Here are some tips for navigating this complex manipulation-laden landscape, whether that be the manipulations you may encounter in your small-scale personal interactions or the large-scale manipulations which impact the entire world:

1 — Understand the fact that humans are storytelling animals, and that whoever controls the stories controls the humans. Mental narrative dominates human consciousness; thought is essentially one continuous, churning monologue about the self and what it reckons is going on in its world, and that monologue is composed entirely of mental stories. 

These stories can and will be manipulated, on an individual scale by people we encounter and on a mass scale by skillful propagandists. We base our actions on our mental assessments of what’s going on in the world, and those mental assessments can be manipulated by narrative control.

2 — Be humble and open enough to know that you can be fooled. Your cognitive wiring is susceptible the same hacks as everyone else, and manipulators of all sorts are always looking to exploit those vulnerabilities. 

It’s not shameful to be deceived, it’s shameful to deceive people. Don’t let shame and cognitive dissonance keep you compartmentalized away from considering the possibility that you’ve been duped in some way.

3 — Watch people’s behavior and ignore the stories they tell about their behavior. This applies to people in your life, to politicians, and to governments. Narratives can be easily manipulated and distorted in many different ways, while behavior itself, when examined with as much objectivity as possible, cannot be. 

Pay attention to behavior in this way and eventually you’ll start noticing a large gap between what some people’s actions say and what their words say. Those people are the manipulators. Distrust them.

4 — Be suspicious of people who keep telling you what they are and how they are, because they’re trying to manipulate your narrative about them. Be doubly suspicious of people who keep telling you what you are and how you are, because they’re trying to manipulate your narrative about you.

5 — Learn to see how trust and sympathy are used by manipulators to trick people into subscribing to their narratives about what’s going on. Every manipulator uses trust and/or sympathy as a primer for their manipulations, because if you don’t have trust or sympathy for them, you’re not going to mentally subscribe to their stories. 

This is true of mass media outlets, it’s true of State Department press releases which implore you to have sympathy for the people of Nation X, and it’s true of family members and coworkers. Once you’ve spotted a manipulator, your task is to kill off all of your sympathy for them and your trust in them, no matter how hard they start playing the victim to suck you back in.

6 — Be suspicious of anyone who refuses to articulate themselves clearly. Word salading is a tactic notoriously used by abusive narcissists, because it keeps the victim confused and unable to figure out what’s going on. If they can’t get a clear handle on what the manipulative abuser is saying, they can’t form their own solid position in relation to it, and the abuser knows this. 

Insist on lucid communication, and if it’s refused to you, remove trust and sympathy. Apply this to people in your life, to government officials, and to 8chan propaganda constructs.

7 — Familiarize yourself with cognitive biases, the glitches in human cognition which cause us to perceive things in a way that is not rational. Pay special attention to confirmation bias, the backfire effect, and the illusory truth effect

Humans have an annoying tendency to seek out cognitive ease in their information-gathering and avoid cognitive dissonance, rather than seeking out what’s true regardless of whether it brings us cognitive ease or dissonance. 

This means we tend to choose what we believe based on whether believing it is psychologically comfortable, rather than whether it’s solidly backed by facts and evidence. This is a weakness in our cognitive wiring, and manipulators can and do exploit it constantly. And, again, be humble enough to know that this means you.

8 — Trust your own understanding above anyone else’s. It might not be perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than letting your understanding be controlled by narrative managers and dopey partisan groupthink, or by literally anyone else in a narrative landscape that is saturated with propaganda and manipulation. 

You won’t get everything right, but betting on your own understanding is the very safest bet on the table. It can be intimidating to stand alone and sort out the true from the false by yourself on an instance-by-instance basis, but the alternative is giving someone else authority over your understanding of the world. 

Abdicating your responsibility to come to a clear understanding of what’s going on in your world is a shameful, cowardly thing to do. Be brave enough to insist that you are right until such time as you yourself come to your own understanding that you were wrong.

9 — Understand that propaganda is the single most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of our society. Everyone’s constantly talking about what’s wrong with the world, but hardly any of those discussions are centered around the fact that the public been manipulated into supporting the creation and continuation of those problems by mass media propaganda

The fact that powerful people are constantly manipulating the way we think, act and vote should be at the forefront of everyone’s awareness, not relegated to occasional discussions in fringe circles.

10 — Respect the fact that the science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for over a century. Think of all the military advancements that have been made in the last century to get an idea of how sophisticated this science must now be. 

They are far, far ahead of us in terms of research and understanding of the methods of manipulating the human psyche toward ends which benefit the powerful. If you ever doubt that the narrative managers could be advanced and cunning enough to pull off a given manipulation, you can lay that particular doubt to rest. Don’t underestimate them.

11 — Understand that western mass media propaganda rarely consists of full, outright lies. At most, such outlets will credulously publish the things that are told to them by government agencies which lie all the time. More often, the deception comes in the form of distortions, half-truths, and omissions. Pay more attention to discrepancies in things that are covered versus things that aren’t, and to what they’re not saying.

12 — Put effort into developing a good news-sense, a sense for what’s newsworthy and what’s not. This takes time and practice, but it lets you see which newsworthy stories are going unreported by the mass media and which non-stories are being overblown to shape an establishment-friendly narrative. When you’ve got that nailed down, you’ll notice “Why are they acting like this is a news story?” and “Why is nobody reporting this??” stories all the time.

13 — Be patient and compassionate with yourself when it comes to developing your narrative navigating skills. Like literally any skill set, you’ll suck at it for a while. If you learn you’ve been wrong about something, just take in the new information, adjust appropriately, and keep plugging away. Don’t expect to have mastered this thing before you’ve had time to master it. Like anything else, if you put in the hours you’ll get good at it.

14 — Find reliable news reporters who have a good sense for navigating the narrative matrix, and keep track of them to orient yourself and stay on top of what’s going on. Use individual reporters, not outlets; no outlet is 100 percent solid, but some reporters are pretty close on some specific subjects. 

Click this hyperlink for an article on one way to do build a customized and reliable news stream. Click this hyperlink for a list of all my favorite news reporters on Twitter right now.

15 — Don’t let paranoia be your primary or only tool for navigating the narrative matrix. Some people’s only means of understanding the world is to become intensely suspicious of everything and everyone, which is about as useful as a compass which tells you that every direction is north. 

Spend time in conspiracy and media criticism circles and you’ll run into many such people. Rejecting everything as false leaves you with nothing as true. Find positive tools for learning what’s true.

16 — Hold your worldview loosely enough that you can change it at any time in the light of new information, but not so loosely that it can be slapped out of your head by someone telling you what to think in a confident, authoritative tone. As Carl Sagan once said, “It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.”

17 — Speaking of confident, authoritative tones, be suspicious of confident, authoritative tones. It’s amazing how much traction people can get with a narrative just by posturing as though they know that what they’re saying is true, whether they’re an MSNBC pundit or a popular conspiracy Youtuber. So many people are just plain faking it, because it works. 

You run into this all the time in debates on online political forums; people come at you with a supremely confident posture, but if you push them to present their knowledge on the subject and the strength of their arguments, there’s not actually anything there. 

They’re just accustomed to people assuming they know what they’re talking about and leaving their claims unchallenged, and it completely throws them off when someone doesn’t buy their feigned confidence schtick.

18 — Be aware that sociopaths exist. There are people who, to varying degrees, do not care what happens to others, and these are the types of people who will use manipulation to get their way whenever it serves them. If you don’t care about truth or other people beyond the extent to which you can use them, then there’s no disincentive to manipulating.

19 — Be aware of projection, and be aware of the fact that it cuts both ways: unhealthy people tend to project their wickedness onto others, while healthy people tend to project their goodness. 

Don’t let your goodness trick you into thinking there aren’t monsters who will deceive and manipulate you, and don’t let sociopaths project their own sinister motives onto you by telling you how rotten you are. This mixes a lot of good people up, especially in their personal lives. Not everyone is good, and not everyone is truthful. See this clearly.

20 — Be suspicious of those who excessively advocate civility, rules and politeness. Manipulators thrive on rules and civility, because they know how to manipulate them. Someone who’s willing to color outside the lines and get angry at someone noxious even when they’re acting within the rules makes a manipulator very uncomfortable.

Often times those telling you to calm down and behave yourself when you are rightfully upset are manipulators who have a vested interest in getting you to adhere to the rules set they’ve learned to operate within.

21 — Meditation, mindfulness, self-inquiry and other practices are powerful tools which can help you understand your own inner processes, which in turn helps you understand how manipulators can manipulate you, and how they manipulate others. Just be sure that you are using them for this purpose, not for escapism as most “spiritual” types do. 

You’re trying to become fully aware of what makes you tick mentally, emotionally and energetically; you’re not trying to become some vapid spiritual bliss bunny. The goal isn’t to feel better, the goal is to get better at feeling. Better at consciously experiencing your own inner world.

22 — Be relentlessly honest with yourself about your own inner narratives and the various ways you engage in manipulation. You can’t navigate your way through the narrative control matrix if you aren’t clear on your own role in it. Look inside and consciously take an inventory.

23 — Understand that truth doesn’t generally move in a way that is pleasing to the ego, i.e. in a way Hollywood scripts are written to appeal to. Any narrative that points to a Hollywood ending where the bad guy gets karate kicked into lava and the hero gets the girl is manufactured. 

Russiagate and QAnon are both perfect examples of an egoically pleasing narrative with the promise of a Hollywood ending, either by Trump and his cohorts being dragged off in chains or by the “white hats” overcoming the Deep State and throwing all the Democrats and Never-Trumpers in prison for pedophilia. Ain’t gonna happen, folks.

24 — Try to view the world with fresh eyes rather than with your tired old grown-up eyes which have taught you to see all this as normal.

Hold an image in your mind of what a perfectly healthy and harmonious world would look like; the sharp contrast between this image and the world we have now allows you see through the campaign of the propagandists to normalize things like war, poverty, ecocide, and impotent electoral systems which keep seeing the same government behavior regardless of who people vote for. None of this is normal.

25 — Know that the truth has no political party, and neither do the social engineers. All political parties are used to manipulate the masses in various ways, and nuggets of truth can and do emerge from any of them. Thinking along partisan lines is guaranteed to give you a distorted view. Ignore the imaginary lines between the parties. You may be certain that your rulers do.

26 — Remain always aware of this simple dynamic: the people who become billionaires are generally the ones who are sociopathic enough to do whatever it takes to get ahead. 

This class has been able to buy up near-total narrative control via media ownership/influence, corporate lobbying, think tank funding, and campaign finance, and are thus able to manipulate the public into consenting to agendas which benefit nobody but plutocrats and their lackeys. This explains pretty much every major problem that we are facing right now.

27 — Understand that nations are pure narrative constructs; they only exist to the extent that people agree to pretend that they do. The narrative managers know this, and they exploit the fact that most of us don’t. Take Julian Assange, perfect example: he was pried out of the embassy and imprisoned by an extremely obvious collaboration between the US, UK, Sweden, Ecuador, and Australia, yet they each pretended that they were acting as separate, sovereign nations completely independently of one another. 

Sweden pretended it was deeply concerned about rape allegations, the UK pretended it was deeply concerned about a bail violation, Ecuador pretended it was deeply concerned about skateboarding and embassy cat hygiene, the US pretended it was deeply concerned about the particulars of the way Assange helped Chelsea Manning cover her tracks, Australia pretended it was too deeply concerned about honoring the sovereign affairs of these other countries to intervene on behalf of its citizen, and it all converged in a way that just so happened to look exactly the same as imprisoning a journalist for publishing facts. 

You see this same dynamic constantly, whether it’s with military interventions, trade deals, or narrative-shaping campaigns against non-aligned governments.

28 — Understand that war is the glue which holds the US-centralized empire together. Without the carrot of military/economic alliance and the stick of military/economic violence, the US-centralized empire would cease to exist. 

This is why war propaganda is constant and sometimes so forced that glaring plot holes become exposed; it’s so important that they need to force it through, even if they can’t get the narrative matrix around it constructed just right. 

If they ceased manufacturing consent for the empire’s relentless warmongering, people would lose all trust in government and media institutions, and those institutions would lose the ability to propagandize the public effectively. Without the ability to propagandize the public effectively, our rulers cannot rule.

29 — Remember that when it comes to foreign policy, the neocons are always wrong. They’ve been so remarkably consistent in this for so long that whenever there’s a question about any narrative involving hostilities between the US-centralized power alliance and any other nation, you can just look at what Bill Kristol, Max Boot and John Bolton are saying about it and believe the exact opposite. They’re actually a very helpful navigation tool in this way.

30 — Notice how the manipulators like to split the population in two and then get them arguing over how they should serve the establishment.

Arguing over whether it’s better to vote Democrat or Republican, arguing over whether it’s better to increase hostilities with Iran and Venezuela or with Syria and Russia, over whether you should support the US president or the FBI, arguing over how internet censorship should happen and whom should be censored rather than if censorship should happen in the first place. 

The longer they can keep us arguing over the best way to lick the imperial boot, the longer they keep us from talking about whether we want to lick it at all.

31 — Watch out for appeals to emotion. It’s much easier to manipulate someone by appealing to their feely bits rather than their capacity for rational analysis, which is why any time they want to manufacture support for military interventionism you see pictures of dead children on news screens everywhere rather than a logical argument for the advantages of using military violence based on a thorough presentation of facts and evidence. 

You see the same strategy used in the guilt trips they lay on third-party voters; it’s all emotional hyperbole that crumbles under any fact-based analysis, but they use it because it works. They go after your heart strings to circumvent your head.

32 — Pay attention to how much propaganda goes into maintaining the propaganda machine itself. This is done this because propaganda is just that central to the maintenance of dominant power structures.

Much effort is spent building trust in establishment narrative management outlets while sowing distrust in sources of dissent. You’ll see entire propaganda campaigns built around accomplishing solely this.