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Is there propaganda in the USA?

Mapraputa Is
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For not to hijack an important "Is the left doomed?" thread...
Google ads "Conservative book club" vs. "Liberal, Progressive news" reminded me a story I read. When serving in the Soviet Army, the author studied information security. A drunk major explained: "there are two levels of secrecy. The first level is when a secret paper is in safe which can be opened only by three people simultaneously. The safe is in a secret building, with strict control on each floor etc. This is a weak level of security. The second level is when a secret paper is in the safe, among hundred of other papers, everybody can read them. But only a few people knows which paper has correct information. This is a strong level of secrecy.
"Now let's take newspapers", - continued drunk major, grabbing a pile of them. "These are our newspapers -- they all tell the same. And these are their newspapers -- they all tell different things."
This phenomenon often strikes former Soviet citizens who were blessed to visit this land. "Their propaganda is even worse then what we had!" In certain sense it is worse. I'll try to conjecture that the phenomenon of propaganda people actually believe in is unique for democratic states. In authoritarian states people are well aware that they aren't being told the truth or that information is hidden. Even in the Soviet Union, where at least three generations lived under communistic regime, people still weren't quite sure in anything. My parents used to tell me "that's what they tell us, what the truth is we do not know".
Now, in a free society there are all kinds of truths, and everybody can choose one to his/her liking. You want news under conservative sauce? Sure. A portion of liberal news? Small, medium or large? People choose truths they enjoy most, those that keep them in a comfortable state of mind. They read different books, watch different news, know different facts, trust different pundits... After certain period of time, some things become self-evident (because they are being repeated often). Finally they *know* the truth!
Of course the very idea that there is such thing as propaganda in a free society will be automatically rejected and denied by those who do not like the taste. I am not trying to convince anybody in anything, I am becoming a good citizen of a democratic country, I am talking to myself.


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"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I am becoming a good citizen of a democratic country, I am talking to myself.
I am talking to myself = I am becoming a good citizen?
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
.... Of course the very idea that there is such thing as propaganda in a free society will be automatically rejected and denied by those who do not like the taste.
Were all people in the USSR convinced they were hearing rubbish all the time? I think the slow, constant "drip-drip" effect will work anywhere, if the adage about "you can fool all the people some of the time ..." has any truth in it. Wasn't America painted successfully as the bogey-man?
I suppose in western societies the left believe in right-wing propaganda, the right believe in left-wing propaganda (that it exists that is).
Its not really propaganda though - I don't think you can get away with downright lies, not without facing consequences at some time. Its more of a fight to control the issues that get debated. Same as in the UK. I guess there's an assumtion the average citizen has x amount of hours to spare analysing what the government and big business is up to, so controlling what the next "big issue" is has the practical effect of hiding other equally important news. This is certainly manipulated and to great effect, by all sides of the political spectrum. But at least its a fight of sorts and there's more than one side trying to get issues to the forefront (with varying degrees of success).
I read somewhere that there was a lack of news coverage on wounded soldiers returning from Iraq, of which there are many. Is it not news worthy? Networks must know that violence, crisis and personal interest stories "sell". Yet someone somewhere has made a decision about interviewing wounded soldiers, either out of a sense of patriotic duty or some other reason (maybe there was worthy coverage of Iraq wounded in which case I'll need another example, but this is just off the top of my head - could just be more propaganda!).
I only just recently saw Donnie Darko (great movie). I loved the dad watching the Dukakis/Bush debate on TV. He's muttering "son-of-a-bitch" everytime Dukakis talks and "go on George, you tell 'em" when Bush is on.
[added link to story about wounded soldiers on the news]
http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/8736
[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
John Smith
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Now, in a free society there are all kinds of truths, and everybody can choose one to his/her liking. You want news under conservative sauce? Sure. A portion of liberal news? Small, medium or large? People choose truths they enjoy most, those that keep them in a comfortable state of mind. They read different books, watch different news, know different facts, trust different pundits... After certain period of time, some things become self-evident (because they are being repeated often). Finally they *know* the truth!
In US, while each media outlet separately may be propagandistic, taken as a whole it is not, as it reflects a wide enough spectrum of different opinions and points of view. It's when all of them start to preach the same you should be sceptical. The trick is, of course, the same no matter where you live, -- listen to what they have to say but form your own opinion. Admittedly, it's much harder to do if you live in a country where there is no free press.
Paul Stevens
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We don't have propaganda. We have spin. :roll:
Rufus BugleWeed
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Your talking to yourself reminds me of another story of an immigrant from the USSR to the US. This one had to do with butter at the grocery store. In the USSR he was just so glad when the grocery store had butter. In the US he went to the grocery store and they 20 different kinds of butter. Making the decision on which butter to choose was exasperating.
Having lived in US forever, I know which butter I like. I know which one I'm going to try next when they are out of my favorite brand, too.
We not only have propoganda, we have romantics that believe tax cuts for the wealthy trickle down.
Paul Stevens
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:

We not only have propoganda, we have romantics that believe tax cuts for the wealthy trickle down.


Total income tax share (percentage):
1% 5% 10% 25% 50%
1986: 100.00......25.75......42.57......54.69......76.02......93.54
1987: 100.00......24.81......43.26......55.61......76.92......93.93
1988: 100.00......27.58......45.62......57.28......77.84......94.28
1989: 100.00......25.24......43.94......55.78......77.22......94.17
1990: 100.00......25.13......43.64......55.36......77.02......94.19
1991: 100.00......24.82......43.38......55.82......77.29......94.52
1992: 100.00......27.54......45.88......58.01......78.48......94.94
1993: 100.00......29.01......47.36......59.24......79.27......95.19
1994: 100.00......28.86......47.52......59.45......79.55......95.23
1995: 100.00......30.26......48.91......60.75......80.36......95.39
1996: 100.00......32.31......50.97......62.51......81.32......95.68
1997: 100.00......33.17......51.87......63.20......81.67......95.72
1998: 100.00......34.75......53.84......65.04......82.69......95.79
1999: 100.00......36.18......55.45......66.45......83.54......96.00
2000: 100.00......37.42......56.47......67.33......84.01......96.09
Adjusted gross income floor on percentiles (current dollars):
1986: N/A......118,818......62,377......48,656......32,242......17,302
1987: N/A......139,289......68,414......52,921......33,983......17,768
1988: N/A......157,136......72,735......55,437......35,398......18,367
1989: N/A......163,869......76,933......58,263......36,839......18,993
1990: N/A......167,421......79,064......60,287......38,080......19,767
1991: N/A......170,139......81,720......61,944......38,929......20,097
1992: N/A......181,904......85,103......64,457......40,378......20,803
1993: N/A......185,715......87,386......66,077......41,210......21,179
1994: N/A......195,726......91,226......68,753......42,742......21,802
1995: N/A......209,406......96,221......72,094......44,207......22,344
1996: N/A......227,546......101,141......74,986......45,757......23,174
1997: N/A......250,736......108,048......79,212......48,173......24,393
1998: N/A......269,496......114,729......83,220......50,607......25,491
1999: N/A......293,415......120,846......87,682......52,965......26,415
2000: N/A......313,469......128,336......92,144......55,225......27,682
Rufus BugleWeed
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Those figures don't count the number killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam or ground zero. I.E. a larger percentage of those defending freedom come from the lower ranks of the income distribution. I suppose you are in favor of a mandatory draft?
[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: Rufus BugleWeed ]
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
Those figures don't count the number killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam or ground zero. I.E. a larger percentage of those defending freedom come from the lower ranks of the income distribution. I suppose you are in favor of a mandatory draft?

What a clever idea! When you have nothing intelligent to say just spit out anything whether it is relevant or not!


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Tony Collins
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Have you ever wondered why Americian Soaps/Dramas always feature 30 - 40 year olds full of Romantic angst ? Not many are happly married.
Why ? Single people spend more.
While in Asia last year I spoke to a group of bright Americians, they where shocked when I told them of the anti-americian feelings rising in Europe.
America leaves it up to the individual to care (and research), it is therefore doomed to a unhappy, neurose, violent society.
I think the greatest lie that Americians tell themselfs is that the rest of the world is jelous of them.
Tony
Joe Pluta
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What a clever idea! When you have nothing intelligent to say just spit out anything whether it is relevant or not!
Well, it is "Meaningless Drivle", isn't it?
John Smith
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Rufus BugleWeed: We not only have propoganda, we have romantics that believe tax cuts for the wealthy trickle down.
Yeah, and we also have the populists who think that hiking the taxes on the wealthy will somehow motivate them to start new enterprizes and to hire the poor unemployed.
Rufus BugleWeed
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Oh how diffferent this world would be if those fighting in Iraq were drawn from the polulation in term of the number of gallons of gas they waste in their Hummers, Navigators and yachts. Tell me again Iraq is about how Saddam can have a WMD armed in 45 minutes. Oh wait, that propoganda has changed, Saddam can start a WMD program in 45 minutes.
Not all taxes are measured in dollars. The rich first want to hire people to defend their weatlh. Then they are annoyed that they have to pay.
It's quite clear that Bush's tax cuts from 2001 have not been stimulative. The number of unemployed keep going up. Wait, you say, thing would be much worse had those tax cuts for the wealth been passed.
When the rich have more disposable income, they are more apt send it in China than the US. Tax cuts for the rich being good for the economy is just propoganda mindless romantics believe.
John Smith
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When the rich have more disposable income, they are more apt send it in China than the US.
It's up to the people to spend their money as they see fit. I don't care if they send it to China, their church, or the ACLU, -- it is their decision. But what makes you think it is better to take it away from the people and spend it as other people see fit? Do you somehow feel entitled to your "fair share" of the fortunes made by somebody else?
Rufus BugleWeed
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It's not their money. It's deficit spending. Transferring money from the social security trust fund to the pockets of the wealthy is not just bad economics, IMO, it's immoral.
John Smith
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It's not their money. It's deficit spending.
Not their money? Is it news to you that the very wealthy pay the lion share of all the taxes collected? I do think, however, that the tax cut should have come from the reduced government spending, not from the money borrowed by the government.
Rufus BugleWeed
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Is it news to you that the very wealthy pay the lion share of all the taxes collected?

Did you read my post? They are not paying with their lives in Afghanistan.
Why did not Osama Bin Laden crash into the world head quarters of the Salvation Army?
Taxes are the part of cost of doing business in America. If you don't like US taxes, move to Liberia, Haitii, or Afghanistan.
John Smith
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Did you read my post? They are not paying with their lives in Afghanistan.
What does this have to do with Afganistan? I really feel like I am patronizing you, but don't you know that we have a professional army in US and everyone is a volunteer? If you don't like to kill for living or to be killed, you can always flip burgers, or write Java code, or become a gynecologist, instead of enlisting in the Army. The soldiers are paid to risk their lives, -- it's their job, just like the job of police officers and football players. So what is really your problem with the rich?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
So what is really your problem with the rich?
He can't figure out how to become one of them.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
Did you read my post? They are not paying with their lives in Afghanistan.
Map started this thread so as not to hijack another thread. So what do you do? You hijack her thread! Talk about rude!
Tony Collins
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From this thread I realise it must be an up hill battle to live in America and be a considerate human being.
If your idea is what you own is all yours and can't be taken away, then look towards Americian foreign policy and criticise.
Tony
[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: Tony Collins ]
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Tony Collins:
From this thread I realise it must be an up hill battle to live in America and be a considerate human being.
If your idea is what you own is all yours and can't be taken away, then look towards Americian foreign policy and criticise.
Tony

After reading this and your previous post in this thread I might be inclined to ask what your problems/insecurities with us are? Do you think we just hang out here to be targets of opportunity for some disgruntled person's anti-American sentiments? The air of superiority and looking down at us comes through clear enough. In any event, it seems that you find all the Americans lending a hand in the SCJD forum "considerate" enough. Or are they merely tolerated as long as they are useful?
[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Rufus BugleWeed
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But what makes you think it is better to take it away from the people and spend it as other people see fit? Do you somehow feel entitled to your "fair share" of the fortunes made by somebody else?

This is a fallacy. Taxes are not taking away. Taxation is society collecting its share.
When you have nothing intelligent to say just spit out anything whether it is relevant or not!

He can't figure out how to become one of them.

Talk about rude!

I really feel like I am patronizing you,

In any event, it seems that you find all the Americans lending a hand in the SCJD forum "considerate" enough. Or are they merely tolerated as long as they are useful?

These are all personal attacks. Just the sort of hypocracy that one can expect from certain individuals at the java ranch.
My problem with the rich is that they are so greedy they begrudge paying their taxes.
[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: Rufus BugleWeed ]
[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: Rufus BugleWeed ]
John Smith
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My problem with the rich is that they are so greedy they begrudge paying their taxes.
Rufus, can't you stop thinking about the money that belong to other people?
Jason Menard
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Posts: 6450
These are all personal attacks. Just the sort of hypocracy that one can expect from certain individuals at the java ranch.

Thanks for your diligence in trying to point this out. However...
In any event, it seems that you find all the Americans lending a hand in the SCJD forum "considerate" enough.
That is a statement of fact gathered from research.
Or are they merely tolerated as long as they are useful?
That is a question. See that little '?' at the end? <- look there's another one!
Despite being consistent, this seems to be a great source of confusion with some, so let me break it down for all interested. I personally don't delete things that people can kinda sorta maybe possibly view as a personal attack if they are really trying very hard to find one. Call me a liberal like that. I also don't delete comments where the poster is merely being a smart-ass unless it contains an insult.
Key things that will nominate a post for deletion by me: something along the lines of "you are a/an" or "you are all (a bunch of)" followed by colorful words like "moron", "idiot(s)", or some obscenity, as well as racial epithets and personal threats. Of course these are general guideline and not hard and fast rules. Other moderators may have different thresholds but most of them seem to follow similar guidelines. Hmm... maybe this would make a good topic for another thread.
[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Thomas Paul
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Let's see:
When you have nothing intelligent to say just spit out anything whether it is relevant or not!
Youy missed the two little smilies. That means it is a joke and I was just kidding around. I was commenting on your post which was completely off-topic.
He can't figure out how to become one of them.
Well, can you? Again it was a joke.
Talk about rude!
I don't see how saying that your post was rude could be considered a personal attack.
I really feel like I am patronizing you,
An expression of personal feeling is not a personal attack. "I feel like I am talking to an idiot" is not the same as "You are an idiot."

In any event, it seems that you find all the Americans lending a hand in the SCJD forum "considerate" enough. Or are they merely tolerated as long as they are useful?
How is that a personal attack? It is a fair question.
Rufus BugleWeed
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I have that smiley after my rude thread stealing comment, Mr. Paul. I feel the majority of that post is meaningless drivelessly applicable to Map's stream of concience ramble. Furthermore, IMO, Map is quite capable of defending her territory. Paul Stevens is the one who wanted to augue.
I don't have any hard feelings.
John Smith
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Furthermore, IMO, Map is quite capable of defending her territory.
It's a male job to piss on the boundaries. Despite the seeming grace and power of a predator, Map is just a vulnerable flower looking for the sunlight in the cold abandoned field.
Richard Hawkes
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Maybe I'm getting a little off topic here but perhaps the closest to propaganda we get in westernised society is the presentation of opinion as fact and so-called info-tainment.
Paul Stevens
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
I have that smiley after my rude thread stealing comment, Mr. Paul. I feel the majority of that post is meaningless drivelessly applicable to Map's stream of concience ramble. Furthermore, IMO, Map is quite capable of defending her territory. Paul Stevens is the one who wanted to augue.
I don't have any hard feelings.

You posted an off topic comment about taxes. I just posted the statistics showing you are wrong. I haven't posted since until now. The debate was between you and others. If you actually want to debate the topic, start a new thread.
R K Singh
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where is Map :roll:
Mapraputa Is
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Posts: 10065
:roll:
I said I am talking to myself. You are entitled to any kind of hijacking that will please you.
But while we are at it... Can anybody explain to me what the hell this is about:
"Most Americans favor using nuclear weapons against Iraq if Saddam Hussein attacks U.S. military forces with chemical or biological weapons in a war that the public believes is virtually inevitable, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The survey found that six in 10 Americans favored a nuclear response if Hussein orders use of chemical or biological weapons on U.S. troops. Slightly more than a third -- 37 percent -- were opposed."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A4014-2002Dec17?language=printer
6 out of 10 Americans are ready to nuke a country that did not even attack them? The more I learn about America the less I understand where I am. That bombings of Iraqi cities is Good I already learnt, now explain to me please that nuking them is also Good. If somebody in this forum belongs to this 6/10 majority, say it, I am curious...
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Don't take any survey too seriously. How was the question exactly phrased? Was the question phrased in such a way that it could be thought that the question was asking about chemical or biological attacks on US soil? Who was asked? How many people?
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll is based on telephone interviews with 1,209 randomly selected adults nationwide and was conducted Dec. 12-15, 2002. The margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll. Interviewing was conducted by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.
*= less than 0.5 percent

18. Would you support or oppose having the United States attack Iraq with nuclear weapons if Iraq attacked U.S. forces with biological or chemical weapons?
           Support Oppose No opin.
12/15/02    60    37    3
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/vault/stories/data121802.htm
Please, note context, like two previous questions:
16. On another subject, would you favor or oppose having U.S. forces take military action against Iraq to force Saddam Hussein from power? Would you say you favor/oppose military action against Iraq strongly or only somewhat?
17. (IF FAVOR) Would you favor or oppose:
a. Having U.S. forces take military
action against Iraq, even if U.S.
allies oppose such action
b. Having U.S. forces take military
action against Iraq, even if the
United Nations opposes such action
c. A major U.S. bombing campaign
against Iraqi military targets
d. A U.S. invasion of Iraq with
ground troops
e. (IF FAVOR INVASION) A U.S. invasion
of Iraq with ground troops, even if
it means a significant number of U.S.
military casualties
You think "Iraq attacked U.S. forces" can be mistaken for "Iraq attacked the US"? Heck, the authors of the question did not even bother to formulate "the United States attack Iraq with nuclear weapons" as "the United States attack Iraqi forces with nuclear weapons" :roll:
[ September 04, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
You think "Iraq attacked U.S. forces" can be mistaken for "Iraq attacked the US"? Heck, the authors of the question did not even bother to formulate "the United States attack Iraq with nuclear weapons" as "the United States attack Iraqi forces with nuclear weapons" :roll:

I have no idea what was on the minds of the people being surveyed. The people interviewed may have thought that the question had to do with small scale tactical nuclear weapons used strictly against Iraqi military units.
I wonder what the answer would have been if the question had been phrased this way:
If the US invades Iraq and the Iraqis use chemical or biological weapons against US forces, should the US respond by dropping nuclear bombs on Iraqi cities?
or this way:
Assuming that Iraq used chemical or biological weapons against US ground forces attacking Iraq and 400 American soldiers died, would you support dropping a nuclear bomb on Baghdad killing several hundred thousand people in retaliation?
I doubt very much that 60% of the American public would have answered "yes" to that question.
Rufus BugleWeed
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The more I learn about America the less I understand where I am.

Welcome to life in the US of A. I don't believe the average poll respondent can read at the 10th grade level. I don't believe GWB understood what he was getting us into either.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
Welcome to life in the US of A. I don't believe the average poll respondent can read at the 10th grade level.
Ignoring that, let's think about this... you are home having dinner and someone calls and asks you take part in a poll. They start rattling off question after question. Your dinner is getting cold and you're getting annoyed as they hit question 15, then 16, then 17. You aren't even paying attention anymore, just wishing that you had told the kid to take his poll and shove it. Why would anyone think that telephone polls with more than 1 or 2 questions would have ANY merit?
Mapraputa Is
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Ignoring that, let's think about this... you are home having dinner and someone calls and asks you take part in a poll.
And you agree???
They start rattling off question after question. Your dinner is getting cold and you're getting annoyed
So you are telling crap instead of asking to call later when it's more convinient? Is this what 6 out of 10 Americans would do?
Rufus BugleWeed
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6 in 10 tell to off and never ever call me again. By and large this is a pretty apathetic place. As long as electric and cable TV are working, there's domestic tranquility here.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
6 in 10 tell to off and never ever call me again. By and large this is a pretty apathetic place. As long as electric and cable TV are working, there's domestic tranquility here.

Actually from what I understand these polls have a 90% rejection rate. I remember agreeing to take one and after 10 minutes I said, "I'm done. Goodbye." The poll that Mpa quoted from was 30 questions that required some thought. I am sure most people stopped thinking around question 10.
 
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subject: Is there propaganda in the USA?