Tag Archives: Propaganda

Chris Collins Propaganda Call on Line 1

28 Jan

Maybe he just hates everything “common”

My Congressman was desperately interested in hearing my input about education and the Common Core standards that are slowly being transformed from an initiative to improve and enhance education and student expectations for the 21st century into a communard bete noir. Because Common Core was implemented during the Obama Presidency, Collins is automatically against it. Because many people are concerned about its testing protocols, Collins is interjecting himself into an issue about which he has never spoken before, and about which his ignorance is palpable.

Why was Common Core implemented? Because employers were concerned that High School students were unprepared for the job market – a pretty basic and fundamental issue

The initial motivation for the development of the Common Core State Standards was part of the American Diploma Project (ADP).

A report titled, “Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts,” from 2004 found that both employers and colleges are demanding more of high school graduates than in the past. According to Achieve, Inc., “current high-school exit expectations fall well short of [employer and college] demands.” The report explains that the major problem currently facing the American school system is that high school graduates were not provided with the skills and knowledge they needed to succeed in college and careers. “While students and their parents may still believe that the diploma reflects adequate preparation for the intellectual demands of adult life, in reality it falls far short of this common-sense goal.” The report continues that the diploma itself lost its value because graduates could not compete successfully beyond high school, and that the solution to this problem is a common set of rigorous standards.

Why implement it nationwide? So that a kid in Alabama meets the same standards as a kid in Vermont, and so that no kid is shortchanged. But to Chris Collins, this is communistic hogwash. Here’s the press release that followed the call: 

Jan 27, 2014 Press Release Thousands of district constituents participate in discussion about new educational standards

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) talked to parents about Common Core today as part of a district-wide telephone town hall meeting.  The new educational standards are currently being implemented in New York State.  Common Core is widely criticized for forcing students to learn skills necessary to perform well on tests as opposed to actually learning critical material. 

Thousands of NY-27 constituents participated in the town hall to learn more about Common Core and voice their concerns about how the new standards are impacting their children. 

“There are few issues as important to the future of our country as the education of our children,” said Congressman Collins.  “Unfortunately, in today’s world, too many of the decisions surrounding our children’s education are being made by government bureaucrats far removed from the classroom.  I believe strongly that parents, teachers and local school leaders know what is best for our children.  Common Core is a typical one-size-fits-all approach generated by big government bureaucrats.”

New York State adopted Common Core standards in 2010.  Across the country, 45 states have begun Common Core implementation, but recently ten states, including Massachusetts, have started to rethink or delay their participation over growing concerns from parents, educators and students themselves.  States were incentivized to participate in Common Core by the federal government through grant money available as part of the American Recovery and Restoration Act (federal stimulus). 

During the telephone town hall, parents voiced concerns about the student testing standards, mandated curriculum, and teacher/school evaluations tied to test results as dictated by Common Core.   Joining Collins for the town hall was Neal McCluskey, Associate Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom

“We should all want our children to be college or career ready following high school graduation and we should be willing to raise our standards to achieve that goal,” continued Collins.  “But Common Core is about churning out students as test takers, not inquisitive students excited about learning.

By forcing students to spend their K-12 years arduously focused on test talking, we will never develop our next generation of leaders, educators and entrepreneurs.  That is sad for our children and our country.”

Collins continued to urge parents and educators to raise awareness of Common Core and push for changes to its implementation, if not full repeal.  Parents with questions about Common Core are encouraged to contact Congressman Collins’ office.

Well there it is. It wasn’t so much to let parents vent concerns as much as it was an opportunity for some guy from a libertarian think tank to propagandize to a conservative constituency. Was there a principal from a school in the district on the call? Was there anyone there who wasn’t there to promote an agenda, but had actual practical experience to offer? Was there anyone there with an advanced teaching degree? This less than a year after the school district that covers Collins’ own home underwent a brutal and painful budget process last year – one that saw tons of young, dedicated educators unceremoniously fired and myriad programs cut. Chutzpah is the word. 

Who got to participate in the call? I’m not on Collins’ mailing list, despite having subscribed at least twice. So, yesterday, while my wife and I were at work, we got this call: 


Well, I wasn’t at home. I was at work working. Even though I knew about the call ahead of time, thanks to some local media reporting, I couldn’t participate because I was at work working on work so that I can bring home an income and, among other things, donate money to the school foundation set up to help fund programs that were cut last year. 

Common Core may be susceptible to demagoguery because it sounds ominous, is new, and because the state of New York’s implementation of its standards was as abrupt as it was inept. Tons of kids came home last year having been tested against standards that weren’t taught during the school year, and they got bad scores. But when I talked to my youngest’s school principal and teachers about the new standards, they were universally enthusiastic about it. The new standards will not only ensure that the right things are being taught, but they will have an ability to track how kids are doing in real time, and divert extra help where it’s needed. 

This isn’t about rolling back Common Core. This is about outlawing public education in this country. This is about codifying a fundamentally unfair, tiered education system whereby the poor and middle class receive vouchers enabling their kids to attend de-funded, decontented, tertiary quality schools; the upper middle class might be able to kick in extra for parochial or second-quality private schools; and the millionaire class can afford whatever they damn well please, and have their precious snowflakes’ private educations subsidized by the poor and middle class. It is the very definition of class warfare – by the wealthy against the not-wealthy. This is about the slow dismantling of every progressive goal this country has ever achieved – public K-12 education, social security, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Medicare – anything designed to help average people and the elderly enjoy life. This is a war being waged by millionaires and billionaires against you and me. 

It is a war against the American Dream itself. 

So, if people were hosting a genuine conversation about Common Core and its standards and implementation, that would be great. But that’s not what Collins was doing. He timed the “discussion” so that working parents could not participate. He did not advertise it nearly well enough. He did not have a balanced discussion, but instead propagandized with the help of libertarian school choice advocates (read: public school opponents). 


SHOCKER: American Children Compelled to Swear Loyalty Oath to N0Bama Regime

21 Nov

Last night I was listening to Michael Caputo filling in for Tom Bauerle on WBEN, and the topic of the Common Core curriculum came up. Admittedly, I don’t know quite enough about Common Core to be strongly for or against it – I know that there are concerns about excessive testing, and this is troubling to me. 

However, one of the callers likened Common Core to Mein Kampf (OF COURSE) because, although the new school curriculum doesn’t call for, e.g., the extermination of international Jewry, it was implemented under Indo-Kenyan socialist Hussein N0bama. 

The wildly inappropriate Hitler analogy was prompted by a sentence culled from a textbook on grammar that reads as follows, 

The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.

It’s a simple active/passive voice exercise, but people can find anti-American outrage EVERYWHERE. I mean, if you look at that sentence, it’s palpably true, in 99.9% of instances. If a cop orders you to pull over, you’re supposed to obey. If a government official is carrying out the law, within the bounds of his authority, you’re generally supposed to obey the command – to be drafted, to pay taxes, to stop at a red light, to show your passport at the border, etc. It is a completely uncontroversial sentence that helps instill the notion of civic duty in a kid. Back in the allegedly “good old days”, this is precisely what was taught.  

Furthermore, there are myriad textbooks and materials from which school districts can choose, and if a particular district doesn’t like the way its grammar exercises are set up, it can pick another one. 

Now, if you look at the insane lunatics at Infowars, you find that it wasn’t developed by the Chavista cadres of Obama’s cabinet, but by a massive private corporation. (I’m not linking to Infowars, sorry). 

This country is so fundamentally sick, I think it’s beyond help. It’s not sick because of idiots being outraged by a sentence in a textbook; it’s sick because everything is perceived to be a Stalinist/Hitlerist assault on God Bless America. 

Here’s how easy this is: 

The results of a Buffalopundit investigation reveal that children throughout Obama’s America are forced to swear a loyalty oath every morning. This loyalty oath is directed to a multicolored piece of cloth that the innocent children are told represents the government; the “Republic for which [the piece of cloth] stands”. But our exclusive investigation of the content of this loyalty oath also reveals that the children are forced to swear fealty to the government itself; “…United States of America, and to the Republic…” 

The oath goes on to shunt aside the rights of the individual, instead claiming that they are part of an “indivisible” “one Nation” collective taken right out of Marx’s Das Kapital. That collectivist agenda is tempered somewhat by the addition of the invocation of the Judeo-Christian deity, in whom some of the individual taxpayer-children in the crowd may not believe. 

We don’t know what kind of “liberty and justice” the totemist-communard loyalty oath anticipates, but it’s clear that Obama is indoctrinating America’s children into something that mirrors his particular anti-American agenda. 

An Open Letter to Donn Esmonde

24 May

Dear Mr. Esmonde,

With today’s anti-school piece about Clarence’s difficulties with its school taxes, you’ve hit a new low. Frankly, given that you’re usually a reasonably progressive thinker who may have more than a passing interest in education, it’s appalling.

Did you speak with your anti-tax friends how the school tax rate – even with the 9.8% hike would have been significantly less than it was in 2003? 2005? The rate would have risen to $15.52/$1000.  In 2007 it was $15.86.  In 2003 it was $16.85. Did you know that in the last 4 years, Clarence has lost $13 million in state and federal funding?  No, you didn’t. If you did, you ignored it.  

Did you happen to mention to them that the tax rates in other highly-ranked districts like East Aurora, Williamsville, and Orchard Park are in some cases 2x the ~$15/$1000 it is in Clarence?

Did you mention to them that Clarence has the 2nd best district and is ranked 6th most cost-effective in the region by Business First?  Did you know it’s 93rd out of 98 districts in WNY in per-pupil spending?

Did you mention to your tea party friends or your readers how the district cut 60 full-time staffers since 2011? That the proposed budget that failed would have cut another 24? 

Ever heard of the Triborough Amendment or the Taylor Law? Did you know that the union agreed to a lower salary increase in its most recent contract than they would have received under Taylor? Did you mention to anyone that, even if the teachers and administration contributed 25% or 50% towards their health care, it wouldn’t close this year’s budget hole? 

Did you happen to question whether they knew that state pension costs are completely outside of the control of the local district and the teachers (and their union)?  Did the issue of the pension and the recent recession’s affect on it come up at all? Did you know that pension costs take into account the past five years’ worth of investment income, which includes the crash of 2008-2009? Did you happen to mention that the district had basically played Giambra-type games with the budget in past years, leaving us with a green/red budget type situation now?

Did you happen upon the fact that the so-called “Citizens for Sustainable Schools” is a local front group for Americans for Prosperity?

Why are we comparing what an educator makes to what someone at DuPont makes? In what way are they similar, except for the fact that they are “jobs”?

Did you happen to ask your friends what they think an appropriate salary for a tenured teacher with 20 years’ seniority should be?

Did you happen to speak with anyone who supported the tax hike and could have explained why it was deemed necessary? If so, why wasn’t that included in your piece? Why did you simply digest as fact what you were told by opponents?

Welcome to the tea party.

Alan Bedenko


Clarence Voters Teach Students a Lesson

22 May

Perhaps we should retain the services of 20 year old Y counselors to “teach” kids at or near minimum wage with no benefits? Is there a way we could outsource teaching to Bangladesh? Should we eliminate music education, art classes, electives, and advanced placement – fire those teachers? Because all of the gloating I’ve seen Clarence school opponents express in the last 7 hours is packed with thinly concealed animus towards the teachers and their labor union.

The teachers. In this country, at this time, we demonize and defile the educators.

Last night, Clarence voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed 2013-2014 school budget, and elected two of the so-called “pro-taxpayer” board candidates. A tax that is wholly deductible from federal income taxation is rejected. The curriculum will suffer. Teachers will be put out of work and stop contributing to the local economy. There is no win here, and the school opponents’ gloating is disgusting and unseemly.

The most direct way to personal achievement and success? An education. The key to unlock a better future for WNY? An education. The reason why families have flocked in recent years to Clarence? The schools. A huge source of pride – at least until yesterday – in the town? The schools. First, do no harm.

So why did Clarence families come out in unprecedented numbers expressly to reject a crisis budget that sought to address a fiscal shortfall? I don’t have the answer to that. I’m just really angry and disappointed about it.

I guess I should be amused by the fact that not a single media outlet, except the Bee, picked up on the fact that the tea party astroturf group spent tens of thousands of dollars of outside money to defeat this budget. If AFP was so concerned about the taxpayers, they could have just donated the money to the district or maybe the band boosters to keep the music programs afloat. They could have directed that money to the Advanced Placement programs or electives that will likely be eliminated from the curriculum. But because AFP is about helping people express their frustrations over federal or state taxation at the students of Clarence, it was more important to spend huge sums on slick propaganda.

People complained about the teachers and their union, claiming that they were completely unreasonable and wholly to blame. Nothing could be further from the truth. Look at the product – look at the outcome. We get (got) what we paid for. Our taxes in WNY are high, but Clarence’s are among the lowest. The proposed levy may have been steep, but the result still would have been a lower payment than the checks families cut in 2003. The overall rate is down even as budgets and property values have gone up.

But the parents of Clarence students didn’t have a massive billionaire-backed lobbying and propaganda group to help them agitate in favor of the budget. The teachers’ union didn’t send 3 slick mailers to every home in Clarence and a 4-page full-color insert in the Bee. Big, bad NYSUT has nothing over the AFP’s access to money.

No, the truly grassroots pro-schools effort was barely funded, relying on Facebook, e-mail, leafletting, and word-of-mouth. There were no big 9′ tall signs on any vacant eyesore properties placed in favor of the budget – only “summer portrait of a lovely grandma” was placed, and defaced.

And I suspect that the budget opponents did the defacing in order to earn free media attention and to portray themselves as victims. WGRZ didn’t report on the mailers that came from Long Island, but they did report on the supposed vandalism. WGRZ didn’t do a story on the consequences of this no vote, but did you see what they did to that sign?!

So, now what? Another $2.4 million in budget reductions will need to be added in order to bring the levy within the tax cap. The revised budget will be submitted to the taxpayers who may very well reject it again, in which case a contingency budget with no increase will be imposed. Either way, kids get shafted.

I’m obviously angry because I have a personal stake – I have two children in the system and we moved here for them. But when they leave the Clarence school system, I understand that it’s important to continue to maintain the system’s excellence (perhaps even to improve it) for future generations. Just because I’ve got mine doesn’t mean I will withhold it from you.

My kids’ – your kids’ – education isn’t some hypothetical or theoretical thing to be used as a pawn in a tea party showdown. It’s their only chance, and they should get the best education possible. Clarence just showed me that it doesn’t really much care. In unprecedented droves. Right now, my decision-making is whether I make this a personal cause or if there’s no point and I should just stop caring, move, and give up. The fact that the value of my property likely plummeted yesterday makes that a difficult decision.

But yesterday near the high school at Gunnville and Main Street, hundreds of students excitedly and hopefully held signs, sang songs, and urged passing motorists to vote yes on the budget. The voters didn’t just vote no – they really showed those kids! Because for all the rhetoric about how the teachers make more than doctors and drive to school in gilded Rolls-Royces and furs, the reality is dramatically different, and it wasn’t the teachers who were taught a lesson.

One of my (Republican) friends on Facebook wrote,

It is a shame that voters took all of their National and State tax frustrations out on the local kids in Clarence with this vote. AND shame on you parents with kids that voted against the budget as well as those of you that have already benifitted from this great school system. I know that their was a lot of you. F…ing selfish and stupid! This is the saying… Be careful what you wish for. Wait until you see what happens to the kids and the school district now. I bet you wish you could do it all over again. For $300-$400 (tax deductible) a year was this worth it.

In another thread, a current Clarence HS student writes,

As a student of Clarence High School I almost can’t stand to see the argument that has ripped this town apart. True, I wholeheartedly support the budget because it is my education and I have worked hard recently to try and get people educated on the actual facts of the budget. As an active member in the school’s music department and an avid participant in the electives and AP courses our school offers I am extremely worried about this budget because I know if this budget doesn’t pass these classes will be cut, my high school education will be highly deprived, the prestige of the Clarence community will go down and the number of colleges that will accept me will decrease. I know that it is now to late to change your minds but I’d like to thank those of you who voted yes and ask those of you who voted no what will happen over the next few years as with out a stabilizing budget this year how will taxes and the schools be affected. Staff cuts will run rampant and our schools will be reduced to teaching only the core concepts required by the state with high class sizes and an increasingly unstable budget so taxes will continue to need to increase.
That is all I have to say

Taxpayers? I’m a taxpayer, too. I’m also someone who knows that you get what you pay for. If frugality was the key to everything, we’d all live in a 500 SF apartment and drive a Smart forTwo. Being frugal isn’t the key – getting quality, value, and a good return on investment is what’s important, and Clarence schools excel at that. For one of the lowest tax levies in WNY, we get one of the best educations in WNY. How much of a school tax abatement did the town IDA give to a German niche car company to build a new dealership across the street from its current dealership? How much in school tax abatements has the IDA given in the past, say, 5 years, further burdening residents and – now – punishing students?

My wife told my kids this morning that the vote failed. “Why?” asked my 1st grader. “There won’t be a musical next year. No show choir, no voce” because the teacher will be laid off, said my 7th grader. They’re surprised and sad.

The huge turnout of no votes taught a lesson, alright. They taught the kids a lesson about lies, propaganda, and punishing them for daring to want to learn. They taught them that it’s better to load up on outside money, cloak it in secrecy, and invest in mailers and signs rather than schools.


Same As It Ever Was

15 Apr

1. This morning, Channel 4 kept teasing a story about pop idol Justin Bieber having written or said something inappropriate at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Curious, I Googled it.  It was about as dismissively disrespectful as you’d expect from a boy who dresses like this to meet the Canadian Prime Minister. I then turned the channel, because teasing a story in this day and age insults my intelligence. 

2. Western New York Democrats are divided into factions. This is newsworthy because a Cheektowaga political club has endorsed a neighboring city’s caretaker Mayor. Bob McCarthy is here to tell us this, and to transcribe what people have to say about it, and leaves us with a quip from more than 10 years ago. Insightful!

3. Donn Esmonde has wonderful things to say about the positive effects of the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus. Except when it comes to maintaining, e.g., the Trico factory as a Maquiladora memorial. 

4. You know the relentless marketing blitz for that “Shen Yun” dance thing you’ve seen everywhere now for the past few months? It’s propaganda for a cult. One that’s been brutally oppressed by the Chinese Communists, but a cult nonetheless. 

5. A letter-writer to the News makes the case for Paladino’s ulterior motive in running for the Buffalo Board of Education. You knew there had to be one. 

6. Stop picking up “WNY Family” Magazine at your local pediatrician’s office, supermarket, or day care. Someone wrote a completely false and misleading article alleging that Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, is dangerous. Every medication comes with risks, but contracting the very contagious human papilloma virus increases a girl’s risk of eventually suffering from a variety of cancers. Here is the body count for the anti-vax paranoia movement. The author stands by the story, so that paper is dead to me. 

7. Surprise! Indefinite detention of people, kept incommunicado and without trial or charge at a third-world military base might engender some bad results. America should put these people on trial or release them to their home countries. It’s long since time that they could have legally been tried within our regular criminal system. Guantanamo Bay is the most un-American thing we’ve ever maintained for this long, and all it is now is a recruitment device for more terrorists. I’m not saying these are all great people whom we should release on the streets of Miami with a driver’s license and $500 cash. I’m saying there are right ways and wrong ways to deal with criminals or terrorists. Indefinitely detaining them without trial or charge is a “wrong way”. It is a massive national shame and goes against every single thing we purport to stand for; it violates everything we’re supposedly protecting by maintaining it.  

In other news, Spring might actually arrive this week. 


Propaganda 101

13 Dec

There aren’t a lot of Stalinist dictatorships left in the world, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), or North Korea is the weirdest of all. Led now by a Swiss-educated twentysomething, it is effectively a large jail with its own currency, and the world’s only Communist dynasty. 

This week, North Korea sent a satellite into space. For a country that follows long-discredited communist central planning and considers anyone not in the military or the party to be disposable, launching a rocket seems to be hardly a priority. But for all the tea party dummies, this is communism, and this is communist propaganda. It’s a dying art; one that was once practiced throughout the globe.  Clap in unison, comrades for the “Hot Wind of Kim Jong-Un”, the sun of the nation and the lodestar for unification

If you want to learn a bit more about the reality of the concentration camps within the national prison that is the DPRK, watch this: 


Stalinist Propaganda in 2011

21 Dec

Since the downfall of the Soviet Union and its satellite colonies, the volume and quality of good, old-fashioned communist propaganda has diminished exponentially. I think this may have something to do with how easily and cavalierly people accuse, e.g., centrist Democrats of being “socialists” or similar.

 There are only a small handful of remaining hardcore Stalinist communist dictatorships remaining in the world, and North Korea is the hardcore-iest, Stalinist-iest of them all. Only Hoxha’s Albania and Pol Pot’s Cambodia came close to the psychotic dysfunction of the Kim’s Korea.

So, after the jump, I will reproduce for you the propaganda item that the Korean Central News Agency (the news agency of the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”) put out in the wake of Kim Jong-il’s death. It’s fascinating to me not only because of the religious terminology it uses to deify the Dear Leader, but the completely false “Juche” self-reliance communism that the Kim dynasty pretends to adhere to (while taking in hundreds of millions in foreign aid) and the attempts to connect an amoral tyrannical communism to an ancient Confucianism. “Songun” is the term the Kim regime uses for its “military first” ideology, as it maintains its revolutionary fervor (as all Communist dictatorships must) through eternal war with the US and South Korea.

This is what passes for public relations and propaganda under Stalinism. Even the title reveals the modern-day caste system that develops under Stalinism; what Yugoslav dissident Milovan Djilas called “The New Class” after his mid-50s split with Tito. This new class has complete control over the means of production while paying lip service to Marxist workers’ control. Through that control, it amasses wealth and influence which becomes “property” in a propertyless society.

Notice to All Party Members, Servicepersons and People

Pyongyang, December 19 (KCNA) — The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK on Saturday announced the following notice to all party members, servicepersons and people:

The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet of the DPRK notify with bitterest grief to all the party members, servicepersons and people of the DPRK that Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, passed away of a sudden illness at 08: 30 on December 17, Juche 100 (2011) on his way to field guidance. Continue reading


Propaganda Minister Luntz

2 Dec

Republican Minister of Propaganda, Frank Luntz, is advising his underlings in the party, and its official organ, <<Fox News>> to modify the language they use in discussing the #Occupy movement. The reason? The Republicans’ unifying theme: fear.

“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death,” said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation’s foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. “They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

Luntz, of course, is being too clever with that. #Occupy isn’t opposed to capitalism; it’s opposed to a crony capitalism that’s arisen in this country thanks to the ultra-rich, their Washington lobbyists, and compliant, greedy pols. From Luntz’s drecking points memo:

1. Don’t say ‘capitalism.’

“I’m trying to get that word removed and we’re replacing it with either ‘economic freedom’ or ‘free market,’ ” Luntz said. “The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”

Interesting that, for all of their loud attacks against Obama’s brand of Kenyan socialism, the Republican pollster’s focus groups thinks capitalism is “immoral”.

2. Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.’

“If you talk about raising taxes on the rich,” the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But  “if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no.Taxing, the public will say yes.”

Government takes money from everybody.  It’s the price we pay for a civilized, Western, First-World society.

3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the ‘middle class.’ Call them ‘hardworking taxpayers.’

“They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”

And with that, the Republicans acknowledge that they have abandoned the middle class altogether. It’s as if the United States wasn’t the embodiment of the oldest and most established anti-feudal bourgeois revolution(s) in history. (Plural because I’m including the Civil War as the second American bourgeois revolution).

4. Don’t talk about ‘jobs.’ Talk about ‘careers.’

“Everyone in this room talks about ‘jobs,'” Luntz said. “Watch this.”

He then asked everyone to raise their hand if they want a “job.” Few hands went up. Then he asked who wants a “career.” Almost every hand was raised.

“So why are we talking about jobs?”

Because you can’t have a career if you don’t have a job, and right now we have a jobs crisis. Mass layoffs and slow hiring lead to an unemployment malaise and record corporate profits. When those companies start realizing that unemployed people can’t buy their tchotchkes, they’ll find themselves in quite a pickle. The economy trickles up, not down.

5. Don’t say ‘government spending.’ Call it ‘waste.’

“It’s not about ‘government spending.’ It’s about ‘waste.’ That’s what makes people angry.”

Is it waste when those “Me Generation” boomers start whining about the government keeping its grubby hands off their Medicare?

6. Don’t ever say you’re willing to ‘compromise.’

“If you talk about ‘compromise,’ they’ll say you’re selling out. Your side doesn’t want you to ‘compromise.’ What you use in that to replace it with is ‘cooperation.’ It means the same thing. But cooperation means you stick to your principles but still get the job done. Compromise says that you’re selling out those principles.”

Of course not! The Republicans have shown us over the last 2 years that compromise is anathema to them. Why would we have two two-party deliberative legislatures if the Founding Fathers expected there to be “compromise”? That’s un-American treason, for God’s sake!

7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: ‘I get it.’

“First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’ . . . ‘I get that you’re angry. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.”

Then, he instructed, offer Republican solutions to the problem.

That’s what my tween girl says to me when she gets mouthy after getting in trouble. It sounds condescending and rude. Sort of like the contemporary Republican Party.

8. Out: ‘Entrepreneur.’ In: ‘Job creator.’

Use the phrases “small business owners” and “job creators” instead of “entrepreneurs” and “innovators.”

Entrepreneur is a French word. France is communist and permissive.

9. Don’t ever ask anyone to ‘sacrifice.’

“There isn’t an American today in November of 2011 who doesn’t think they’ve already sacrificed. If you tell them you want them to ‘sacrifice,’ they’re going to be be pretty angry at you. You talk about how ‘we’re all in this together.’ We either succeed together or we fail together.”

I don’t know how this jibes with the Republicans going out of their way to screw the middle class, “hardworking Americans of less means than Trump” but I’m sure they have it figured out.

10. Always blame Washington.

Tell them, “You shouldn’t be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it’s the policies over the past few years that have created this problem.”

Actually, no. It’s the policies that have been bought off through lobbying by the wealthy that have created this problem. If Washington had balls, a moral compass, discipline, and a true desire to fix problems rather than just win elections, this would be moot. The solution isn’t to occupy the White House; the solution is to get money out of politics. Want to blame Washington? Blame the Supreme Court.


Don’t say ‘bonus!’

Luntz advised that if they give their employees an income boost during the holiday season, they should never refer to it as a “bonus.” 

“If you give out a bonus at a time of financial hardship, you’re going to make people angry. It’s ‘pay for performance.'”

Semantic newspeak. “Orwellian” doesn’t begin to describe the Luntz-Fox axis.


Propaganda: Emotion vs. Fact

5 Jan

Toronto recently elected a new mayor, Rob Ford.  He’s a pretty conservative guy and strikes me as being a Chris Collins type.  He’s not real popular with the intelligentsia, but average Joe Taxpayer loves him.

Anyhow, one of his initiatives has been to advocate against a transit plan that would have dramatically expanded the city’s light rail and instead call for a much smaller expansion of the city’s subway system.

A Toronto environmental group opposes this, and came up with this piece of simple, completely fact-based propaganda that struck me as very persuasive (via BlogTO).

When I think of the civic arguments we have in Buffalo about development, I wonder why it is that the groups who agitate the loudest seldom have the facts to back up their arguments.  As a specific example, I’ll bring up the arguments against the Route 5 Southtowns Connector battles from 2007 – the opponents of that DOT plan came up with the most disingenuous arguments based more on emotion than fact; (e.g., the bermed Route 5 on the Outer Harbor “separates downtown from its waterfront”)

You can’t really argue with someone’s subjective emotion, but you can argue with facts, and you’ll note that the BlogTO article linked-to above specifically mentions that some of the figures contained in that propaganda piece may be flawed or, themselves, disingenuous.

But we can argue about the way in which facts are presented, because after all, they can be determined objectively.

I think facts, presented simply, are much more persuasive and helpful than emotion.


Best Page of Propaganda, Ever

9 Jul