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23 May 2017

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Has anyone noticed a increasing propensity for many politicians of any persuasion to shout and yell their speeches rather than use a modulated and well reasoned tone?

If what they are saying is important, (?) then people will listen all the more rather than simply be yelled at in a vain attempt to gain the attention and browbeat those who are supposed to be listening.

It makes those politicians appear like roosters strutting their stuff in the chook yard, but then........

Today's rooster is tomorrows feather duster.

Ed, I get my news from a variety of sources—newspapers, magazines, radio, television, selected internet sites—and within those sources, naturally some writers are more reliable than others.

I don’t completely discount the ABC, it has some good programs. And I sometimes a look at totally “fake news” sources such as Green Left Weekly. I’ve always found it prudent to know what the enemy is up to.

And of course there are books. In my post I mentioned Willi Munzenberg, and I have several books referencing him including:

“Double Lives: Spies and Writers in the Secret Soviet War of Ideas Against the West” by Stephen Koch;

“The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willi Munzenberg, Moscow’s Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West” by Sean McMeekin.

While I don't share Ross Howard's sanguine view of Donald Trump, I do agree that the mainstream media have indulged in advocacy journalism far too frequently.

As a direct consequence of this, Ross and many others have come to believe that much, even most, of the media is untrustworthy.

The left's tendency to endlessly bang on about identity politics, why safe spaces are a good idea, trigger warnings and the like has helped polarise public opinion on these matters and many others besides.

Meanwhile, the right has banged on about the importance of reducing taxes (especially for corporations), naming and shaming welfare cheats, the imperative to reduce government debt, and so forth to the point of nausea.

Politics has been reduced to a screaming match between self interested and self absorbed politicians, none of whom seem willing or able to argue a serious case for the large scale reform that the current system so patently needs.

The net result is an increasingly disillusioned and distrustful public directing their votes towards populists and independents.

As long as the big lie is a tool of trade for some of the media and many politicians alike, then we, the long suffering public, can only lose out.

If not the ABC and other 'elite media' (whatever that is), I wonder which sources of 'news' Ross Howard relies on?

Chris may be correct to suggest that Bryan Kramer’s exposing of corruption in PNG could be dismissed as “fake news” and thus fabrication.

But in this era of advocacy journalism, what you perceive as “fake news” may well depend on the source of your news.

A Harvard Report of 18 May showed the enormous anti-Trump bias of the media in Trump’s first 100 days. The percentage of negative coverage of Trump was:

CNN-93; NBC-93; CBS-91; Fox-52; New York Times-87; Washington Post-83; Wall Street Journal-70.

In addition to bias, there is flat-out collusion, as when staffers for newsmen Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer of CNN contacted the Democratic National Committee to seek questions they might put to Republican presidential candidates.

And let’s not go into the anti-Trump leaks from the Washington Swamp to the media.

But the mainstream media has become increasingly corrupt over the last few decades, for example:

In 1998, homosexual Matthew Shepard, aged 21, died after being beaten, tortured and left to die by two men. In 1999, Jesse Dirkhising, aged 13, died after being kidnapped bound, drugged, tortured and raped by two homosexual men.

In the month after Shepard’s murder Nexis recorded 3007 stories about his death. In the month after Dirkhising’s murder, Nexis recorded 46 stories about his. “This discrepancy isn’t just real, it’s staggering” wrote Andrew Sullivan, a conservative homosexual.

Nor was Goebbels the first person to master “the big lie”. During the Weimar Republic, Goebbels served in the German Reichstag alongside Willi Munzenberg who had been recruited by Lenin. The Leftist magazine “Jacobin” states, “Goebbels regarded him as a nemesis but learned the dark arts of media strategy by watching him work.”

Munzenberg set up hundreds of ‘Front’ organizations to suck in the “Useful Idiots” to do his bidding. His media empire was known as the “Munzenberg Trust”, and his operatives included Otto Katz who went to Hollywood and became a lover of Marlene Dietrich. He mastered the art of throwing shadows with articles, mass psychology, and deceit.

Munzenberg helped organize the Reichstag Fire, but before the Nazis could bring their accused to trial, he organized and publicized a counter-trial in London which found the defendants not guilty, and he then spun the blame onto the Nazis.

Although Stalin had Munzenberg murdered in 1941, he did not abandon his methods. A 1943 Communist Party directive stated:

“Members and front organizations must continually embarrass, discredit and degrade our critics…When obstructionists become too irritating, label them as Fascist or Nazi or anti-Semite…The association will, with enough repetition, become a ‘fact’ in the public mind.”

So when Hillary Clinton labelled Trump supporters as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” and a “basket of deplorables”, she was following the well-worn path of the extreme Left.

Chris may think that Trump “promised to make America great again without any semblance of a coherent or even feasible plan for doing so.” Others believe he has delivered, or attempted to deliver, on all his plans:

Appointment of distinguished people such as General Mattis and Rex Tillerson;

No border wall yet, but border crossings down 60% simply because he is enforcing existing law;

In the midst of replacing a collapsing Obamacare;

Freeing business from oppressive regulations by requiring the elimination of two regulations for every new one, with a zero-dollar net increase in the cost of regulations;

Nominating a Supreme Court justice who subscribes to an originalist interpretation of the Constitution;

Working on tax reform to attract business and jobs;
Infrastructure spending proposal in train;

Reversed Obama’s “leading from behind” in world affairs;
Generated confidence resulting in massive stock exchange gains.

And all this done with a completely obstructionist Democratic Party opposition, and a colluding media deliberately promoting negativity and trying to delegitimize his administration.

Chris may rely on the “elite media” for his news. I don’t. I rejected our ABC as a reliable source of news about the same time I read that British sailors aboard the Ark Royal rejected the BBC as the default source for their news. One sailor described the BBC news “indistinguishable from enemy propaganda.”

From my observations, embedded with the East Sepik people, I can see that, although social media is becoming a strong means for making people aware of the truth of what is going on in government, this media is mainly used by the educated minority who are able to follow it on their mobile phones or computers.

Sadly there are still millions of voters who are not part of it. Some candidates have started travelling from village to village to explain the present situation in PNG. Many of them are well educated and have a good understanding of the troubles facing PNG at the moment.

But there are still millions of voters who will probably not hear much of the truth but will be fed the lies and propaganda. Some former members of the government are leaving the government as they fear the ship is sinking but it will be interesting to see how it all works out in the end.

The only saving grace is that there are people out there that can see what is actually going on! Whether anyone can stop it is another story.
Methinks that PNG and its resources have already been sold out to foreign interests and nothing can stop their rape and pillage of this beautiful country and its innocent people(the villagers).

I was there before and after independence, I saw the beginnings of corruption from public servants up to the fledgling politicians(some of them).
To my mind a politician is and should only be a servant of the people, just look around you and see who are the servants?

I agree with you Chris that the dictum of the current political leadership, if you can call it that, is that the end justifies the means.

I suggest however that the current climate is more like that of Europe 1,000 years ago with so called 'Robber Barons' making the laws and taking whatever they wanted.

Trump on the other hand, is demonstrating the collapse of an empire as it implodes due to an inability to maintain focus and direction. Much the same as the collapse of any empire although I suspect the demise of British Empire was hastened by two world wars and the loss of two lots of young leaders. It was also hastened by the US holding back and letting the Brits hold the fort for two years.

PNG is at the mercy of those who will exploit her and her people. That is the great misfortune and was predicted by those who foresaw it happening but were not listened to and those who refused to take off their rose coloured glasses when confronted with the truth.

The third set of deniers are those who refuse to see where this will lead. That group is made up of those who can't or won't look at the facts (read some Australian politicians), and those who only want personal gain (read many PNG politicians).

Chris and others are right in that in times of trouble, people in desperation will turn to those who offer solutions that are jingoistic and easily accepted.

It reminds me of the message we used to repeat many times in the bush around 50 years ago.

I nogat narapla rot. Hat wok tasol em inap long girapim graun bilo yumi.

To which I would add: Lukluk lo wok oli bin mekim pastaim na maski harim maus wara bilo ol.

You are all lost in waffle and miss the point. The real question will answer itself, i.e., despite organised criminal theft now being open for all to see, why has nothing been done about it?

Because all responsible agencies are impotent. They are all political pawns and dare do nothing. They are all afraid.

The criminals act with impunity. I have heard again and again "Who's going to stop me?" And they are quite correct.

Even Australia is happy to harbour stolen money and do nothing about it.

And there is your answer - Kramer and his ilk are not even on the radar. They can be ignored and offer no threat at all. They can be ignored.

This quickly became evident when the PAC started its work under Hickey. Crime and theft was cheerfully admitted, in full knowledge that there was no risk at all. '

Ultimately the Committee was simply ignored. Summonses were not answered and the Police, Public Prosecutor and the Speaker would do nothing to enforce them - because they were afraid.

There is nothing new in this. The PAC said in 2007 ..."It is high time that the National Parliament understood the terrible corrosive effect that an unaccountable elite has on our nation and its citizens" No-one cared.

While Joseph Goebbels was obviously a very intelligent man and knew exactly what he was doing I doubt whether the same can be said of people like Donald Trump and Peter O'Neill.

I suspect that in their case (and their supporters) they actually believe what they say.

I think Trump actually believes that he can make America great again. He doesn't know how he's going to do it except that he believes in the power of 'the deal' and thinks this is all that is required.

Whether America was ever 'great' in the first place is a moot point and why Trump feels he is a consummate deal maker is beside the point. He believes both those things and so do his followers.

He and his followers all believe that some news is 'fake' and that their 'alternative truths' are real.

There is non of the subtlety of Goebbels at play here.

O'Neill is a similar fish. He actually believes he is doing a good job. He is more in the mould of Richo's 'whatever it takes'. To O'Neill telling lies and making a buck on the way is doing 'whatever it takes'. He believes these things are good for PNG.

I don't think we have a crop of Goebbels-like politicians in power. I think we have a crop of deluded politicians who believe in their own hype and that of their spin doctors.

I think this is infinitely more dangerous than having someone like Goebbels in charge.

We are being led by idiots and madmen (and the odd mad woman). That's really scary.

Chris, your insights are well said about the current situation we face in the country. A very power hungry government is distorting the truth about the reality of the economy and everything else to remain in power. It will use lying propaganda to win this year's elections.

Foolish will be those who will vote for this governments in spite of the hard facts. But on the other hand, the writing is on the wall for the corrupt PNC regime. It's demise from glory is coming.

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