7 August 2018 #43
I think the main thing of propaganda is what Goebbels repeated at all time. ‘The secret of propaganda is to simplify complex or complicated things, to make them as simple as possible. As simple that even the less ingenious men can understand what I mean. Simplify.’ And then, if you had found the form which tells a complicated thing in the simplest way, when you have found this form, then, secondly, repeat it! Repeat it every day. Simplify and repetition. That’s the secret of modern propaganda. (Franz Hippler, Hitler’s film chief)
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THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW:
Nina Burleigh: “The Social Media Psy-op That Took Down Al Franken” (Newsweek). Leeann Tweeden—a Playboy nude model, Hooters pinup girl, and sometimes Fox commentator—complained about a photo during a troop entertainment tour in which a grinning Al Franken posed with his hands close to her flak jacket, just about where her breasts would be. Other photos from the tour showed her on stage grabbing a guitarist’s butt and kissing Franken; it was that kind of tour. Nonetheless, the flak jacket photo produced a huge amount of cybermail. Franken’s fellow Democrats fell for it (notably New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand), and forced him to resign. The mail campaign was fake; it was in play even before Tweeden went public. Here is a detailed account of how the Franken hit was organized and carried out.
Sam Levin: “Berkley police under fire for publishing anti-fascist activists’ names and photos” (The Guardian). Police made arrests at a neo-Nazi rally in Berkeley this week. They didn’t arrest the Nazis; they arrested people demonstrating against them. And then, before anyone was formally charged, the Berkeley police published on Twitter the names, cities of residence and photos of the anti-Nazis. Time to set up a loudspeaker outside Berkeley police HQ with Pete Seeger singing ‘Which Side Are You On?”
Matt Taibbi: “Why We Know So Little About the U.S.-Backed War in Yemen” (Rolling Stone). In the past year, says Salon, MSNBC (FOX News for the left and literate) has done 455 segments about Story Daniels, but not one on the U.S. war in Yemen. It is one of the nastiest wars in progress, yet it is virtually ignored by U.S. media, left and right. Hooray for Matt Taibbi, who not only describes it here, but provides grim urls to document it all.
Stephen D Foster, Jr.: “Roy Moore Flees Interview After Sacha Baron Cohen Introduces ‘Pedophile Detector’ Device” (Blue State Daily). Trump’s choice for US senator from Alabama flees TVs greatest scam-artist.
Daniel Barenboim: “This racist new law makes me ashamed to be Israeli” (The Guardian). The great conductor, pianist and activist comments on Israel’s moves to fully emulate apartheid South Africa. And here is the most recent commentary on the same subject by Israeli peace activist (and former member of the Knesset and former terrorist) Uri Avnery: “Who the Hell Are We?” (“Semi-fascist,” he concludes.)
Peter Travers: “‘BlackkKlansman’ Review: Spike Lee Delivers a Hellraising Masterpiece” (Rolling Stone). Denzel Washington’s son stars in a new film about a black cop infiltrating a white supremicist group in Colorado springs from Spike Lee, director of Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X.
Julia Ainsley: “Now the Trump administration wants to limit citizenship for legal immigrants” (NBC News). More villainy from Stephen Miller, Trump’s resident xenophobe. They’re particularly targeting people who have used (or in whose family anyone has used) Obamacare, children’s health insurance or food stamps. The relentless cruelty is ever-more astonishing. Wannsee anyone?
“Stepped Up Illegal-Entry Prosecutions Reduce Those for Other Crimes” (TRAC). Trump’s attempt to intersect illegal border crossings by families is not only coming up empty (the number of families attempting to cross shows no sign of change, even with the brutal separate-the-children program), but it is forcing federal officials to divert law enforcement resources from real criminal activity. Drug prosecutions, for example, have plummeted. So Trump’s campaign against what he claims are drug-dealing brown people is having the effect of making it easier for actual drug dealers to stay in business.
Rick Wilson: “Trump’s Tweets May Actually Be His Undoing” (Rolling Stone). “As these past several days prove, Trump’s impenetrable belief that he’s a genius surrounded by morons will be his undoing. He’s tweeting himself — to say nothing of his family and co-conspirators — into a legal dead end. A meeting with Mueller is the big leagues, where the stakes are existential, the opposing team is merciless and the downside risks are the size of the White House. This impulsive, stubborn man can’t resist trying to pull off this stunt. What could possibly go wrong?”
Christian Sheckler and Ken Armstrong: “Standing by Their Convictions” (South Bend Tribune and Pro Publica). This is a grim story. In case you think things will get better or more rational if there’s an impeachment conviction and Pence replaces Trump, this might get you thinking otherwise. Like Trump, Pence is a man unswayed by data. And, like Trump, he simply does not care about righting wrongs. Indiana put an innocent man in prison. All the evidence pointed to his innocence. He got convicted anyway. When further evidence about his innocence was presented to then-governor Mike Pence, Pence refused to intervene. His successor pardoned the victim immediately.
A New Yorker cover that sums up the Trump presidency thus far: