Wednesday 15 March 2016
1 I decided to take a few days off from the pressure of writing a daily blog. I’m back now much refreshed and ready to catch up with matters political.
“There’s a sucker born every minute” is a phrase attributed to P. T. Barnum, an American showman of the mid-19th century, although there is no evidence that he actually said it. It does however, describe the gullible in society. In the world of politics it relates to those who fall for the simplest lies or accept dishonest words without question. Those who follow extremist leaders while most normal people see through their deceit.
”It is the misinformed who shout the loudest. The rest of us are content with the truth we enquired about.”
We observe this in both American and Australian Politics. Yesterday we had White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pulling back from the Trump accusation that Obama was spying on him. I’m sure that 90% of Americans would have concluded that he was tweeting lies but equally 10% would believe he was telling the truth.
Republican senator John McCain upped the ante and demanded that the President put up or shut up on his claim that Barack Obama had ordered wire taps on Trump Tower.
But Spicer had the answer. He reckons that when Trump uses the term “wiretap,” he means any sort of surveillance.
”There’s a whole host of things that fall into the category [of wire-tapping,”he said, and ”a wide range of ways in which somebody can be monitored or followed up on.”
Told you so. Just tell more lies to water down the first. ”There’s a sucker born every minute.”
Who said this during the US election campaign?
”Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment. The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 per cent.”
”The terrible jobs report that just came out shows the number of people not in the workforce increased by another 425,000 people last month.”
On Friday morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released jobs numbers from Trump’s first full month in office. The addition of 235,000 people to the employment rolls was good news. He claimed it was because he was now in office.
“They may have been phony in the past, but they’re real now,” @PressSec laughs, asked to explain Trump suddenly accepting unemployment figures.
What a perverted liar he is. All the reporters in the room laughed in unison.
”The rise of the right has brought with it a new political language. One that has not yet been classified because it defies any normal understanding of what the word truth means.”
In Australia Pauline Hansen followers would believe her when she speaks against inoculating children against diseases. People get sucked in and truth becomes irrelevant.
2 Tuesday’s Essential Poll has Labor still ahead of the Coalition. 53/47. One Nation has moved ahead of the Greens on 11%.
On the survey questions.
A. Who do you think would make the better Prime Minister out of Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten?
38% (down 1% in last 4 weeks) of respondents think Malcolm Turnbull would make the better Prime Minister and 26% (up 1%) think Bill Shorten would make the better Prime Minister.
41% of men prefer Malcolm Turnbull and 31% prefer Bill Shorten.
34% of women prefer Malcolm Turnbull and 22% prefer Bill Shorten.
B. Do you approve or disapprove of the $50 billion in tax cuts for medium and large businesses announced in the Federal budget?
24% approve of the tax cuts for medium and large business announced in the Federal budget and 46% disapprove. This represents a 4% drop in approval since this question was previously asked in June last year.
Those most likely to disapprove were Greens voters (63%), Labor voters (59%) and aged 65+ (61%).
3 The WA election in my view was entirely predictable. Longevity is the enemy of any sitting government. Add to it a tired looking leader who has not led well together with a deplorable Federal Government of the same ideology and you have a recipe for disaster. The Liberals could potentially lose 10 seats federally if the same swing occurs. One Nation got 5.7%. of the vote. Given all their infighting it’s a wonder they got that.
4 Nothing amplifies the need for a Royal Commission more that the news yesterday that Westpac had conned its customers into moving $646.7 million of their money into its superannuation accounts BT subsidiary. The allegation is that they were giving personal financial advice when advisors are only permitted to give ”general advice”. ASIC is taking them to court but a RC would be more desirable.
5 It seems we have a very unhappy Public Service at the moment who are disillusioned about being used as bullies against presumed welfare cheats.
The bullied however, have their own way of retaliating. They stop warning you about the political hazards you face. Very clever I should think. “There’s a sucker born every minute”.
6 Senator Brandis is still refusing to hand over his Diary despite a court ruling him to do so. It makes it all a bit shifty. If he has nothing to hide why not just release it. I do hope he wasn’t chaving a bit on the side.
7 This from Anne Hurley the executive chair of Internet Australia:
”The industry-standard Akamai State of the Internet quarterly report on average Internet connection speeds has Australia falling in its global rankings from 50 to 51, at a time when we need to be heading up the chart. Interestingly, the report noted that for broadband adoption, quarterly changes were positive in the Asia Pacific region ”except for Australia, which posted a 1.9 per cent decline in adoption”.
8 A study by the Climate and Energy College at Melbourne University tells us that the price of electricity has doubled since the axing of the Carbon Tax. I have not had time to fully digest the announcements regarding Energy Policy by the SA government but a first blush appraisal suggests they are on the right track. Now if only the PM had the balls to confront his party and implement some form of emissions trading scheme. He won’t of course, the gutless fool. My memory goes back to the times when Gough was confronted with similar situations.
On this day in 2015 I wrote:
For most of my working life I worked in marketing and advertising so I know how people are influenced, persuaded or swayed by such things as branding and repetitive advertising. Companies spend millions of dollars to subtly brainwash you. To align you with a certain brand or product. They will use all manner of persuasive techniques including sex and deceptive packaging to solicit your good will and loyalty. They even measure the eye blink rate of women from hidden cameras in supermarkets to test colour reaction. Yes it’s that sophisticated. And brand loyalty is what they want. There are more psychologists employed in advertising in America than in the health industry. It is all calculated to take power over your decision-making. And it works.
The same can be said for Australian mainstream media. It also wants your brand loyalty and the power to coerce you into its way of thinking. It uses similar techniques to the advertising industry and the main ingredients are untruth and the creation of perceptions with subliminal messages. In the media it is easy to apply. It can be a headline, a one liner (stop the boats) or a photoshopped photograph and on television the way you lead a story or conduct an interview. We are almost manipulated beyond our free will. But of course the often repeated blatant lie takes precedence and is the best tool to use for an audience that is uninformed and in a malaise and thus susceptible to this sort of propaganda. Now of course they have another tool, “Opinion Journalism” (Andrew said). Now let me add that there is nothing wrong with opinions so long as there is a diversity of them. But the fact is we don’t have a diversity and we would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the media and self-interest groups’
The less informed voters unfortunately greatly outnumber the more politically aware and therefore are the obvious victims of mainstream media deception where everything is reduced to simplistic slogans. Where the opinion makers use all manner of tantalising, seductive and provocative words and imagery to win you to what they want you to believe. Media is no longer about reporting news. It is about persuasion by opinion.
My last thought.
”There’s a sucker born every minute”
My thought for the day.
“We live in a failed system. Capitalism does not allow for an equitable flow of economic resources. With this system a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level”.
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