Kindra Arnesen – The Fisherman’s Wife

Kindra Arnesen’s husband is a tough-as-nails fisherman who recently fell ill after working on a clean-up crew just off the shores of Louisiana.  I can’t find any pictures of Kindra or background info on her and her family.  I actually caught a glimpse of her giving an interview to CNN about BP’s death-grip on the local fishermen and their families.  What stood out to me was her balls-to-the-wall fearlessness to speak out against BP and Deepwater Horizon’s horrific aftermath.

She mentioned that several friends asked if she was “scared” to get on national television and go head-to-head with the one entity that put food in their mouths…and had the power to take it right back out.  And what was her answer?  “Yes.  I’m scared.”

One spunky girl getting all up in the face of a conglomerate that has repeatedly failed to recognize and respect human and environmental frailty.  Initially after the spill, BP hired out-of-work fishermen to help with the clean-up, but things started to get bumpy when the fishermen complained of too few people being hired and their cleanup contracts containing problems.   After working long hours in water thick with oil and dispersants, men began complaining of illness.  Headaches, thick coughs, unable to sleep.

At least one worker said he wasn’t given protective equipment by BP.

Like other cleanup workers, Jackson had attended a training class where he was told not to pick up oil-related waste. But he said he wasn’t provided with protective equipment and wore leather boots and regular clothes on his boat.

“They [BP officials] told us if we ran into oil, it wasn’t supposed to bother us,” Jackson said. “As far as gloves, no, we haven’t been wearing any gloves.”

BP spokesman Graham McEwen told the LA Times that “he was unaware of any health complaints among the cleanup workers,” adding that “the fishermen the company is training are not being deployed into areas that require respirators or breathing apparatus. Those who are working for BP laying booms or skimming oil are issued protective coveralls and gloves.”


BP even went so far as to insult everyone’s intelligence by suggesting these fishermen were simply suffering from a good ole fashioned case of food poisoning.  Really, BP?  Really?  I guess this is what happens when Big Oil is given autonomy with no responsibility.

Obama just needs to quit pretending to be a Cool Cat and go on and get ghetto on BP’s triflin’ butt.  I mean straight up G-to-the-H-to-the-ETTO.  Burn all the red-tape and bring down the gauntlet on these dredges of society.  Bankrupt them.  Make it so the CEO’s and CFO’s have to apply for food stamps and welfare cheese.  Make it so they can only afford Goodwill and Save-a-Lot.  Make it so they have to look every person in the eye whose life they’ve single- handedly destroyed.  Make them take full and total responsibility for 100% of this nightmare.

Then make it so these fishermen and their families can live the rest of their lives without a financial worry or health concern.  Make THAT so.

Maybe others will stand up with Kindra Arnesen and let their voice join with hers…making it louder until everyone is forced to stop and listen to what they have to say.  Maybe others will boldly look BP in the face and dare them to screw around with the lives of their loved ones.  BP has already tossed out a million bucks to help these fishermen and their families…like this is the cure-all.

Perhaps the almighty dollar is king in BP’s world.  But out here….where the water is poison and the air is toxic…there are more important things.  Things like the human condition.  Things like our ecological legacy evaporating before our very eyes.  Things like Kindra Arnesen pointed out in a recent town hall meeting with BP officials:

“I look at my five- and my eight-year-old, and I think in 10 years, am I going to have to look at Elena(ph) and say to her the reason you’re in this hospital bed is because I kept you there. That’s what I’m here to ask, and I really do appreciate that.”

I pray that we as a people can somehow take control of the reins and get our planet somewhere CLOSE to the track so that our children and future generations aren’t left with the diseased scraps of what God trusted us to care for.

Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'” (Genesis 1:26)


5 Responses

  1. I like your comments about controversial subjects. We don’t know the damage we will find years into the future from this mess. Right now, like an iceberg, most of it is hidden. The quote from the Bible at the end of the post has a different meaning to me than to many people I know. When God said “rule over” the other life on earth, I think it is more of a parental relationship. Since we have superior intelligence(?)we have a responsibility to watch over and care for life and not abuse it.

  2. How and why did Kindra’s video get “privatized” and yanked from YouTube, PBS Reports???? Who got paid off and by whom???

  3. If you don’t like the looks of this then next time make an e-mail address available.for attachments.


    One of our founding fathers said” Those not willing to fight for liberty, don’t deserve it.”

    Wake Up, America — Now

    By Vertner Vergon

    yes, wake up. you’ve been asleep at the wheel.

    It’s really not your fault, though. You have been propagandized and brain washed since you were a small child. Well. You are about to be given a big dose of the truth – as things REALLY are. So heed it. This is your debriefing.

    I watched Ted Kennedy’s speech of nearly 30 years ago on C-Span. Earlier, on one of their programs I saw other political speeches of the same era. Guess what, THE SPEECHES WERE THE SAME AS OBAMA’S DURING HIS CAMPAIGN! We have to control inflation – we need job security – we need health reform. There should be National health care the same as Congressmen have – we must protect our senior citizens – we should tax the big corporations – we need better education – we need a better economy – the middle class income, and the middle class has shrunk. This must come to a stop and the middle class should grow – the “American Dream” can be realized. etc., etc.

    So what are the facts? THE CONDITIONS TODAY ARE THE SAME AS THEY WERE OVER A QUARTER CENTURY AGO. No, in fact they are worse. We have the worst recession since the great depression of the 30’s.

    (a) Did you ever ask yourself, why? (b) Were you even aware of all this?

    Each of the problems mentioned above is a big issue in itself. And the public tends to think of it in that way. However, the fact is THERE IS ONE UNDERLYING FACTOR THAT IS THE CAUSE OF EACH AND EVERY ONE!. Yes, all those problems have one underlying cause. And that is the keynote of this message. The cause of all our troubles is BIG CORPORATIONS. Become aware of CORPORATE POWER.

    For example, in 1940 Congress passed a bill EXEMPTING THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY FROM ANTITRUST LAW – giving them the ability to PRICE FIX!!!

    Congress blames the insurance companies for the SOARING COST OF MEDICAL TREATMENT – when they know damn well it is the industry itself that has skyrocketed

    What other anti-antitrust laws have been past?

    Economics 101: (Let’s keep it simple) What keeps prices down? Competition.
    That requires suppliers to be in competition with each other.

    How do big corporations fit into that scheme? They don’t.

    The first order of business for big corporations is to gobble up smaller ones. Soon there are only a few corporations in any given field. The next order of business is to form an :”association”. In reality, the association is a cartel. And the purpose of a cartel is to fix (raise) prices.

    Naturally, prices go up. This causes inflation which sucks middle class money up into the overstuffed coffers of the corporations. Their executives get salaries running into the two digit millions – plus bonuses of multi millions of dollars plus perks. I put it to you, the head of the biggest business in the country is the president of the United States – and he only gets $400,000 per year plus perks and pension. Why should the exes of mere corporations get disgustingly more?

    The second order of business for the corporations is to secure their position so that the government does not fetter them. How to do that? Simple – buy the government. How to do that?

    First a little background. In the early days of our government it was customary that those who went to Washington to serve usually stayed one or two terms and then went home to their business or plantation. But as time went by and being a senator or representative became a plush job, the objective was to make a life’s career of same. That, of course means being elected over and over. How is that accomplished? With MONEY. Money wins elections. And where is that big money to come from?
    Corporations. And when the corporations want something (including protection) they get it.

    The bottom line is THE BIG CORPORATIONS RUN THIS COUNTRY and all the ills mentioned above can be traced to that fact.

    The big corporations are the cancer killing our country.

    INFLATION: We have already discussed that.

    HEALTH CARE: Universal health care has been discussed for over 30 years. Yet it never happens.

    Why? Because the American Medical Association is a cartel of doctors, and they don’t want the government limiting their high charges.

    Neither do the large (very profitable) drug companies.
    The countries in Europe (and Canada) have had universal health care for years. But not the “greatest country in the world”. We have forty some millions uninsured.

    TAXES: It is common knowledge that the big corporations get tax breaks – AND SUBSIDIES. even though they make billions of dollars and pay multi million dollar salaries and bonuses plus perks mentioned
    earlier. The kings of old never had it so good.

    JOB SECURITY: The big corporations have shipped jobs overseas by the millions, throwing Americans out of work.

    And of course big corporations have always been against unions and have been known to fight them violently. What better way to cripple them than to ALLOW millions of Hispanics to invade our country and take American jobs?

    The “wet backs” have been streaming across the Rio Grand for years and little was done to stop them. Why?

    “WALL STREET” “Wall Street” includes the banking industry, insurance companies, and lending institutions. UNFETTERED Wall Street has just created the GREATEST ECONOMIC CATASTROPHE SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. It was so bad that it had repercussions all around the world and it pretty near collapsed our economy entirely. Then, the American taxpayer had to go in debt over 780 billion dollars to bail them out.. And as 2009 draws to a close, the end is not in sight.

    What is the mechanism for the corporations to buy our government? Lobbyists. With their pockets stuffed with money and post retirement “jobs” they infest Washington and are the go betweens for corporations and the congress (including the Presidency). They make the deals. When it is suggested that this activity be closed, we are told that it is a constitutional right to address our government with your concerns. So we ask, how many lobbyists does the middle man have to address HIS wants?
    Besides, the constitutional right is to ASK not BUY our government. Lobbying should be terminated.

    THE INTERNET Ever notice the big hu hu over so called “Spam”? Spamming is assiduously assaulted and suppressed – supposedly because receiving unasked for email is so horrible Yet the government strongly promotes regular postage spam – called “Junk Mail” , or 3d class mail or “commercial mail.. We are asked to believe anti-spamming is a ground roots enterprise. I don’t believe that – especially since pop-ups are much worse as they pop up on top of the frame you are working on and often are very difficult to get rid of. They are an invasion of privacy and an extreme nuisance. YET NOTHING IS DONE TO SUPPRESS THEM!. What is the difference? Pop ups are no threat to the government. Mass
    e-mailing “spam” is. It’s a way for the population to get together and form huge blocks of voting.

    The government also is very lax in suppressing worms, viruses, and hacking – unless the hacker invades a US government system. Then they have no problem tracing him and prosecuting. I personally believe anti-spamming is fostered by the government because it does not want the public to get together and become a force for change. This is a suppression of free speech. Yet sleeping America allows it. After all spamming is the modern version of pamphleteering, which goes back to Thomas Paine and the revolution and is an inherent constitutional right.

    I once sent out an 80,000 political mailing and was cut off the next day by my ISP. I went to his place of business and argued with him over his doing that. I was told all ISPs will do that. And if he were to allow me to operates NO OTHER ISP WOULD WORK WITH HIM AND THE UNIX HIGHWAY WOULD DENY HIM ACCESS. So in fact he would be put out of business. Now I ask, WHO HAS THE POWER TO DO THAT? You know as well as I – the US government.

    WAR: We have fought only two legitimate wars in our history. What do I mean by “legitimate” war? A war in which we were DEFENDING our country. Those were World War One and World War Two. In all the other wars, we were the aggressor,

    We took land from Mexico and fought to keep it. We fought the Canadians to take over Canada – and they whipped our butts twice. We fought the Spanish-American war and gained land. We invaded Korea and Viet Nam supposedly “to fight Communism”. Let’s talk a little bit about that.

    Communism (and incidentally, the Soviet Union was a SOCIALIST Republic as their name implied. – but always called “Communist” by American propaganda)
    is an ECONOMIC plan while dictatorship is a POLITICAL plan. Unfortunately practically all Communist countries are run by dictators. So the corporations, who control propaganda in this country always tie the two together by using the term “Communist dictators”. Why do they do that? Because they fear communism. If communism (or socialism which is synonymous.) ever is adopted in this country, THEY LOSE THEIR BELOVED CORPORATIONS.

    The man in the street has nothing to fear from communism or socialism – only the corporation owners.

    There are many Socialist Republics in the world and they are doing just fine in the way their citizens are treated.

    Reagan, who was very much in the pocket of the big corporations, called the communist countries “the evil empire”. He also shouted, “Soviet Union TEAR DOWN THAT WALL.” I would like to point out that walls are for DEFENSE, not OFFENSE..

    Reagan also operated the country on his “trickle down” theory. The theory was, make the rich richer and that wealth will trickle down to the middle class. Well lets look in the dictionary to see what “trickle” means: — a small, slow, or irregular quantity of anything coming, going, or proceeding.

    Yes, the middle man got the tricklings, i.e., the crumbs. Everyone knows that for years the middle class has been shrinking and losing ground financially. And collaterally, the underclass is growing.

    The reason the Soviet Union failed was for two main reasons: (1) This country and others that have big corporations did their best to make it fail by more or less ostracizing it in international trade , and (2) the soviets made the mistake of running their country as a series of bureaucracies — and we know how inefficient they are. Also, I might mention that it was this country that called our relationship with the USSR as “the cold war”. That is in essence a declaration of war.

    The bottom line is the big corporations, who control this country, sent 57,000 of our men in their prime of life to be slaughtered in Vietnam in order to protect their corporations. They also sent a similar amount to die in Korea. And this is not to count the injured – physically and mentally.

    We are told this country is protecting itself from the “evil empire”.(by attacking small, backward jungle countries.) One wonders just who the evil empire is.

    How would you like Chinese gun boats traveling up and down the Mississippi? And sticking their nose into American life? We did that in China. We also patrolled the
    Vietnam coast. We also had a battle ship (the Main) parked in a Cuban port. Rumor has it that we blew it up ourselves to start the Spanish American War. We also provoked an attack on the Panai in Vietnamese waters. to give us an excuse to attack Viet Nom.

    Don’t blame the average American for these atrocities and war crimes – blame the big corporations. They run the country and they implemented them.

    Bush, who is himself a corporation owner, lied to the American public to start the Iraqi war.

    And his buddy, Vice President Cheney who owned Haliburton Corp. stole a billion dollars in Afghanistan. Halliburton was hired to feed the troops and haul gasoline from Kuwait to northern Afghanistan.. They charged three times as much as their competitor. They also charged for 5,000 meals they never served to the troops. They also served out of date food to our troops. And the contract they had was never a bid contract. It was just handed to them.

    This all came out in a congressional hearing via testimony by personnel in the know. The senators clicked their tongues and remarked how horrible this was. The light went down – and nothing but silence reigned. No jail for Cheney. And when Palosi became house leader, the first thing she proclaimed was that “impeachment is not on the table” Hooray for democracy. My Dad used to say, “We have the best government money can
    buy – and money buys it.”

    Recall that when Bush and Cheney took over the White House, Cheney called a secret meeting of big corporations in energy. When Congress asked him who attended and what transpired, he told Congress to shove it – despite the fact, legally he was required to give Congress that information.

    And, yes, “Impeachment is not on the table”

    Mr and Miz .America, what does it take to convince you?


    What is the cure? Simple. NATIONALIZE THE CORPORATONS. That way they will work to benefit and serve America not bleed it to death.

    This does not require violence. The Government simply takes over all their stock and pays them for it.

    This can be done under PUBLIC DOMAIN where property is seized — and paid for – for the good of the community, The stranglehold corporations have on the community MUST be broken.

    In other words, we, the people, buy them out.(instead of saving them with our money so they can go on victimizing us.). The profit they earn will first go to pay off the national debt, and next go to reduce taxes. We will then become a peaceful, bountiful country.

    Until that happens, I have another suggestion. The main method of buying our government is by the use of campaign funds.

    The cure for that it TAX FUNDED CAMPAIGNS,

    That way our politicians have to be answerable to the taxpayer, not corporations.
    Campaigns could be limited to one month. If a politician cannot tell you what he stands for in that time, then he should not run for office.

    TV and radio station need a license to use the public’s airways. Then let them donate a specified amount of time to the candidates, free. This saves the taxpayer money.

    This is the logical remedy. Ever occur to you why that never happens? CORPORATE POWER.

    NOW is the time to stop the corporations from picking your bones. NOW is the time to fight for a decent life, NOW is the time to nationalize the big corporations,

    CHINA. China’s growth rate was 9 % versus the US rate of 3 ½ % (all this before the world calamity caused by big US corporations). And it is China that is lending billions of dollars to the US – not the other way around. So who is the church mouse?

    I predict the American public will wake up when China runs this country into the ground economically in the near future. Why is their economy so robust? Because they have free enterprise on the lower level – and on the higher level their big corporations are owned by the people, i.e., they ARE NATIONALIZED.

    As you sit in front of your TV, you may think you are watching a news cast or
    “commentator”. What you don’t realize is that you very likely are being bombarded
    by a trained propagandist of big corporations – a trained and well paid warrior.. They are trained, skilled soldiers in the corporation’s continual war on the public.

    Remember, the corporations are organized – well organized – and the public is not.
    The government’s effort re spam is intended to keep it that way.

    Here is a quote from the Waikedpedia encyclopedia:

    “The propaganda model is a theory advanced by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky that alleges systemic biases in the mass media and seeks to explain them in terms of structural economic causes.

    “The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”

    Below is a list, given in the Waikepedia, of what is in the arsenal of the propagandist. This is what they are trained to use against you.

    STUDY IT CAREFULLY. This is your protection against the propaganda bombardment aimed at the unsuspecting public.

    For instance, look at the present all out anti universal health campaign designed to keep forty some million Americans without health care – and to keep the medical, medical insurance, and pharmecutical industries rolling in excess profits.

    “Propaganda may be administered in insidious ways. For instance, disparaging disinformation about the history of certain groups or foreign countries may be encouraged or tolerated in the educational system. Since few people actually double-check what they learn at school, such disinformation will be repeated by journalists as well as parents, thus reinforcing the idea that the disinformation item is really a “well-known fact”, even though no one repeating the myth is able to point to an authoritative source. The disinformation is then recycled in the media and in the educational system, without the need for direct governmental intervention on the media. Such permeating propaganda may be used for political goals: by giving citizens a false impression of the quality or policies of their country, they may be incited to reject certain proposals or certain remarks or ignore the experience of others. See also: black propaganda, marketing, advertising.
    [edit] Techniques
    See also: doublespeak, cult of personality, spin (politics), demonization, and factoid
    Common media for transmitting propaganda messages include news reports, government reports, historical revision, junk science, books, leaflets, movies, radio, television, and posters. Less common nowadays are letterpost envelopes examples of which of survive from the time of the American Civil War.(Connecticut Historical Society;Civil War Collections;Covers(envelopes). (In principle any thing that appears on a poster can be produced on a reduced scale on a pocket-style envelope with corresponding proportions to the poster). The case of radio and television, propaganda can exist on news, current-affairs or talk-show segments, as advertising or public-service announce “spots” or as long-running advertorials. Propaganda campaigns often follow a strategic transmission pattern to indoctrinate the target group. This may begin with a simple transmission such as a leaflet dropped from a plane or an advertisement. Generally these messages will contain directions on how to obtain more information, via a web site, hot line, radio program, et cetera (as it is seen also for selling purposes among other goals). The strategy intends to initiate the individual from information recipient to information seeker through reinforcement, and then from information seeker to opinion leader through indoctrination.

    A number of techniques based in social psychological research are used to generate propaganda. Many of these same techniques can be found under logical fallacies, since propagandists use arguments that, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid.

    Some time has been spent analyzing the means by which propaganda messages are transmitted. That work is important but it is clear that information dissemination strategies become propaganda only strategies when coupled with propagandistic messages. Identifying these messages is a necessary prerequisite to study the methods by which those messages are spread. Below are a number of techniques for generating propaganda:

    Propaganda to urge immigrants to move to California, 1876.
    · Ad hominem
    A Latin phrase that has come to mean attacking your opponent, as opposed to attacking their arguments.

    · Ad nauseam
    This argument approach uses tireless repetition of an idea. An idea, especially a simple slogan, that is repeated enough times, may begin to be taken as the truth. This approach works best when media sources are limited and controlled by the propagator.

    · Appeal to authority
    Appeals to authority cite prominent figures to support a position, idea, argument, or course of action.
    · Appeal to fear
    Appeals to fear seek to build support by instilling anxieties and panic in the general population, for example, Joseph Goebbels exploited Theodore Kaufman’s Germany Must Perish! to claim that the Allies sought the extermination of the German people.
    · Appeal to prejudice

    Using loaded or emotive terms to attach value or moral goodness to believing the proposition.
    · Bandwagon

    Bandwagon and “inevitable-victory” appeals attempt to persuade the target audience to join in and take the course of action that “everyone else is taking.”

    · Inevitable victory: invites those not already on the bandwagon to join those already on the road to certain victory. Those already or at least partially on the bandwagon are reassured that staying aboard is their best course of action.

    · Join the crowd: This technique reinforces people’s natural desire to be on the winning side. This technique is used to convince the audience that a program is an expression of an irresistible mass movement and that it is in their best interest to join.

    Getting What He Deserves. Heroes of the Fiery Cross 1928

    · Black-and-White fallacy
    Presenting only two choices, with the product or idea being propagated as the better choice. (e.g., “You are either with us, or you are with the enemy”)

    · Beautiful people
    The type of propaganda that deals with famous people or depicts attractive, happy people. This makes other people think that if they buy a product or follow a certain ideology, they too will be happy or successful.

    · Big Lie
    The repeated articulation of a complex of events that justify subsequent action. The descriptions of these events have elements of truth, and the “big lie” generalizations merge and eventually supplant the public’s accurate perception of the underlying events. After World War I the German Stab in the back explanation of the cause of their defeat became a justification for Nazi re-militarization and revanchist aggression.

    · Common man
    The “‘plain folks'” or “common man” approach attempts to convince the audience that the propagandist’s positions reflect the common sense of the people. It is designed to win the confidence of the audience by communicating in the common manner and style of the target audience. Propagandists use ordinary language and mannerisms (and clothe their message in face-to-face and audiovisual communications) in attempting to identify their point of view with that of the average person. For example, a propaganda leaflet may make an argument on a macroeconomic issue, such as unemployment insurance benefits, using everyday terms: “given that the country has little money during this recession, we should stop paying unemployment benefits to those who do not work, because that is like maxing out all your credit cards during a tight period, when you should be tightening your belt.”

    · Demonizing the enemy
    Making individuals from the opposing nation, from a different ethnic group, or those who support the opposing viewpoint appear to be subhuman (e.g., the Vietnam War-era term “gooks” for National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam aka Vietcong, (or ‘VC’) soldiers), worthless, or immoral, through suggestion or false accusations.

    World War I poster by Winsor McCay, urging Americans to buy Liberty Bonds

    · Direct order
    This technique hopes to simplify the decision making process by using images and words to tell the audience exactly what actions to take, eliminating any other possible choices. Authority figures can be used to give the order, overlapping it with the Appeal to authority technique, but not necessarily. The Uncle Sam “I want you” image is an example of this technique.

    · Disinformation
    The creation or deletion of information from public records, in the purpose of making a false record of an event or the actions of a person or organization, including outright forgery of photographs, motion pictures, broadcasts, and sound recordings as well as printed documents.

    · Euphoria
    The use of an event that generates euphoria or happiness, or using an appealing event to boost morale. Euphoria can be created by declaring a holiday, making luxury items available, or mounting a military parade with marching bands and patriotic messages.

    · Flag-waving
    An attempt to justify an action on the grounds that doing so will make one more patriotic, or in some way benefit a group, country, or idea. The feeling of patriotism this technique attempts to inspire may not necessarily diminish or entirely omit one’s capability for rational examination of the matter in question.

    The Finnish Maiden – personification of Finnish nationalism

    · Glittering generalities
    Glittering generalities are emotionally appealing words applied to a product or idea, but which present no concrete argument or analysis. A famous example is the campaign slogan “Ford has a better idea!”

    · Half-truth
    A half-truth is a deceptive statement, which may come in several forms and includes some element of truth. The statement might be partly true, the statement may be totally true but only part of the whole truth, or it may utilize some deceptive element, such as improper punctuation, or double meaning, especially if the intent is to deceive, evade blame or misrepresent the truth.

    · Intentional vagueness
    Generalities are deliberately vague so that the audience may supply its own interpretations. The intention is to move the audience by use of undefined phrases, without analyzing their validity or attempting to determine their reasonableness or application. The intent is to cause people to draw their own interpretations rather than simply being presented with an explicit idea. In trying to “figure out” the propaganda, the audience forgoes judgment of the ideas presented. Their validity, reasonableness and application may still be considered.

    · Labeling
    A Euphemism is used when the propagandist attempts to increase the perceived quality, credibility, or creedence of a particular ideal. A Dysphemism is used when the intent of the propagandist is to discredit, diminish the perceived quality, or hurt the perceived righteousness of the Mark. By creating a ‘label’ or ‘category’ or ‘faction’ of a population, it is much easier to make an example of these larger bodies, because they can uplift or defame the Mark without actually incuring legal-defamation. Example: “Liberal” is a dysphamsim intended to diminish the perceived credibility of a particular Mark. By taking a displeasing argument presented by a Mark, the propagandist can quote that person, and then attack ‘liberals’ in an attempt to both (1) create a political battle-ax of unaccountable aggression and (2) diminish the quality of the Mark. If the propagandist uses the label on too-many perceivably credible individuals, muddying up the word can be done by broadcasting bad-examples of ‘liberals’ into the media. Labeling can be thought of as a sub-set of Guilt by association, another logical fallacy.

    · Name-calling
    Propagandists use the name-calling technique to incite fears and arouse prejudices in their hearers in the intent that the bad names will cause hearers to construct a negative opinion about a group or set of beliefs or ideas that the propagandist would wish hearers to denounce. The method is intended to provoke conclusions about a matter apart from impartial examinations of facts. Name-calling is thus a substitute for rational, fact-based arguments against the an idea or belief on its own merits.[6]

    · Obtain disapproval or Reductio ad Hitlerum
    This technique is used to persuade a target audience to disapprove of an action or idea by suggesting that the idea is popular with groups hated, feared, or held in contempt by the target audience. Thus if a group that supports a certain policy is led to believe that undesirable, subversive, or contemptible people support the same policy, then the members of the group may decide to change their original position. This is a form of bad logic, where a is said to equal X, and b is said to equal X, therefore, a = b.

    · Oversimplification
    Favorable generalities are used to provide simple answers to complex social, political, economic, or military problems.

    Illustration by Rev. Branford Clarke from Heroes of the Fiery Cross by Bishop Alma White published by the Pillar of Fire Church 1928 in Zarephath, NJ

    · Quotes out of Context
    Selective editing quotes to change meanings—political documentaries designed to discredit an opponent or an opposing political viewpoint often make use of this technique.

    · Rationalization
    Individuals or groups may use favorable generalities to rationalize questionable acts or beliefs. Vague and pleasant phrases are often used to justify such actions or beliefs.
    · Red herring
    Presenting data or issues that, while compelling, are irrelevant to the argument at hand, and then claiming that it validates the argument.

    · Repetition
    This type of propaganda deals with a jingle or word that is repeated over and over again, thus getting it stuck in someones head, so they can buy the product. The “Repetition” method has been described previously.

    · Scapegoating
    Assigning blame to an individual or group, thus alleviating feelings of guilt from responsible parties and/or distracting attention from the need to fix the problem for which blame is being assigned

    · Slogans
    A slogan is a brief, striking phrase that may include labeling and stereotyping. Although slogans may be enlisted to support reasoned ideas, in practice they tend to act only as emotional appeals. Opponents of the US’s invasion and occupation of Iraq use the slogan “blood for oil” to suggest that the invasion and its human losses was done to access Iraq’s oil riches. On the other hand, “hawks” who argue that the US should continue to fight in Iraq use the slogan “cut and run” to suggest that it would be cowardly or weak to withdraw from Iraq. Similarly, the names of the military campaigns, such as “enduring freedom” or “just cause”, may also be regarded to be slogans, devised to influence people.

    · Stereotyping
    This technique attempts to arouse prejudices in an audience by labeling the object of the propaganda campaign as something the target audience fears, hates, loathes, or finds undesirable. For instance, reporting on a foreign country or social group may focus on the stereotypical traits that the reader expects, even though they are far from being representative of the whole country or group; such reporting often focuses on the anecdotal. In graphic propaganda, including war posters, this might include portraying enemies with stereotyped racial features.

    · Testimonial
    Testimonials are quotations, in or out of context, especially cited to support or reject a given policy, action, program, or personality. The reputation or the role (expert, respected public figure, etc.) of the individual giving the statement is exploited. The testimonial places the official sanction of a respected person or authority on a propaganda message. This is done in an effort to cause the target audience to identify itself with the authority or to accept the authority’s opinions and beliefs as its own. See also, damaging quotation

    “The Bulgarian Martyresses”, 1877 painting by the Russian painter Konstantin Makovsky depicting the rape of Bulgarian women by Ottoman troops during the supression of the April Uprising a year earlier, served to mobilise public support for the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) waged with the proclaimed aim of liberating the Bulgarians.

    · Transfer
    Also known as association, this is a technique that involves projecting the positive or negative qualities of one person, entity, object, or value onto another to make the second more acceptable or to discredit it. It evokes an emotional response, which stimulates the target to identify with recognized authorities. Often highly visual, this technique often utilizes symbols superimposed over other visual images. These symbols may be used in place of words; for example, placing swastikas on or around a picture of an opponent to associate the opponent with Naziism.

    · Unstated assumption
    This technique is used when the propaganda concept that the propagandist intends to transmit would seem less credible if explicitly stated. The concept is instead repeatedly assumed or implied.

    · Virtue words
    These are words in the value system of the target audience that produce a positive image when attached to a person or issue. Peace, happiness, security, wise leadership, freedom, “The Truth”, etc. are virtue words. In countries such as the U.S. religiosity is seen as a virtue, making associations to this quality affectively beneficial. See “”Transfer””.

    [edit] Models
    [edit] Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model

    First Red Scare depiction of a “European Anarchist” attempting to destroy the Statue of Liberty.”

    Surprise, eh?

    Bewate. Constantly analyse what you see, hear and read.


    Why are Drug Companies Able to Make Deals with the Government?
    To someone new to the issue this may be the first question that comes to mind, but it is, unfortunately, one that is also easily answered. The drug companies are the leading lobbyists in Washington, spending more to sway legislation than any other industry.

    The pharmaceutical industry spent $1.5 billion lobbying Congress in the last decade, and in so doing has manipulated the government’s involvement with medicine and secondarily reinforced our dependence on them, through government policies.

    As you can see in this chart from The Center for Public Integrity, pharmaceutical spending has risen sharply in recent years, which idicates that their “investments” have been paying off.

    Among their top “achievements” so far, according to lobbying disclosure reports filed with Congress and accessed by The Center for Public Integrity, were:

    • Blocking the importation of inexpensive drugs from other countries

    • Protecting pharmaceutical patents both within the United States and abroad

    • Ensuring greater market access for pharmaceutical companies in international free trade agreements

    And with their latest “deal,” the drug companies are continuing to ensure that their lucrative business is protected — and any future health care reform does not cut into their profits.


    Learn The Way It Is – and how you and your family are paying the price.

    Les Leopold
    Author, “The Looting of America”
    Posted: June 25, 2010 08:54 AM
    Why the Wall Street-BP Double Standard?
    “In reality, credit pollutants pose the same kind of threat to our economy as chemical toxins do to our environment. Like their chemical counterparts, they tend to concentrate in the weakest and most vulnerable parts of the financial system, and that’s where the toxic effects show up first: the subprime mortgage market collapse is essentially the Love Canal of our ongoing risk-pollution disaster.” Eric Janszen, Harper’s Magazine, February 2008
    We’re living through two of the most catastrophic ecological disasters in history. BP’s spill is wrecking the Gulf’s ecosystem. It slaughtered 11 workers and destroyed the livelihoods of thousands in the fishing and tourist industries. And soon, we’ll start hearing about the terrible toll exposure to oil-related toxics is taking on the bodies of clean-up workers.
    Meanwhile, Wall Street, led by financial giants like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and A.I.G., polluted our financial system with toxic assets. The wreckage includes $6 trillion in lost economic value and at least 8 million US jobs destroyed in a matter of months. And like the Gulf spill, the Wall Street catastrophe will have deadly long-term consequences, as hundreds of dislocated workers die prematurely from the economic shock.
    The Gulf and Wall Street disasters are oddly parallel in many ways, except one: BP is paying for some of its sins. Wall Street isn’t. (And what better evidence than the watered down financial reform bill the Congressional conferees hashed out last night, which gives banks plenty of latitude to keep doing business as usual).
    Both calamities were predictable and preventable. BP–and the rest of the oil industry–relies on very risky technology to operate flawlessly under extreme pressure, in deeper and deeper water. According to the New York Times , Transocean commissioned a confidential study of safety records at some 15,000 deep sea wells. In 11 cases, crews “lost control of their wells and then activated blowout preventers to prevent a spill. In only six of those cases were the wells brought under control, leading the researchers to conclude that in actual practice, blowout preventers used by deepwater rigs had a ‘failure’ rate of 45 percent.” In short, a BP-like disaster was inevitable. But the industry and its allies studiously ignored that study and all other evidence of our offshore ticking time bombs. Drill baby drill! Just make sure you get the cash in your pocket before she blows.
    Back on dry ground, we had similarly strong evidence that a Wall Street disaster was inevitable. Many thoughtful public and private officials cautioned us that Wall Street had recreated the very conditions that led to the crash in 1929 – financial deregulation plus too much speculative money in the hands of the few. In 1995, Brooksley Born, as chair of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, warned President Clinton, Alan Greenspan and Congress that the fast-growing Wall Street derivatives casino could collapse at any time, taking the financial system with it. Her reward was to be driven out of government by Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and Senator Phil Gramm. The financial industry went into overdrive, creating and selling hundreds of billions of these risky products, which later turned into toxic trash. But till then, let the good times roll…for the elites.
    In both the deep sea and on Wall Street, regulation was slack or non-existent. At BP, officials fudged or ignored equipment tests for key failsafe drilling systems. Regulators were clueless at best, corrupt at worst. On Wall Street, the financial ratings agencies pretended the toxic assets smelled like roses. Financial regulators from the Fed on down were not just clueless, but collaborating in the scheme.
    If the Wall Street and BP disasters are eerily parallel, consider this connection between the big bankers and the BP spill. Apparently Wall Street analysts didn’t like all the extra time and money it took to conduct tests on deepwater rig failsafe devices. In a conference call with investment analysts, Transocean’s CEO virtually apologized for the annoying “anomaly” of having to repair blowout preventers. (New York Times, 6/21/10). It reportedly costs $700 a minute to pull up a blowout preventer for repairs. Investors surely didn’t want to see that kind of cash wasted on tests that could be avoided with a little guile and regulatory manipulation.
    But the many parallels and connections between the Wall Street and Gulf disasters end when it comes to how the government is handling these crises. BP is paying a price for what it has done. Wall Street is being rewarded. (Populist rhetoric aside, the financial reform bill just announced will keep those rewards coming through a myriad of exemptions and loopholes. Too big to fail is here to stay.)
    The Obama Administration pressured BP into canceling dividend payments and setting aside a $20 billion victims fund that will be administered by a neutral third party.
    Where’s Wall Street’s victims fund? The one that will help the millions of people who lost their jobs or homes because of the crash? Instead of paying out, Wall Street is getting paid for its sins. After the crash, both the Bush and Obama administrations showered the perpetrators with at least $10 trillion in taxpayer bailouts, guarantees, toxic asset swaps and liquidity programs. The largest financial institutions were permitted, even encouraged, to become even bigger as they gobbled up distressed banks at bargain basement prices. What aid there is for Wall Street’s victims comes from us, the taxpayers, in the form of stimulus money.
    In the very year in which they destroyed eight million jobs, the finance industry big boys got away with paying themselves $150 billion in bonuses all of which came by way of taxpayer support. In the worst economic year since the Great Depression, the top ten hedge fund managers (who would have earned next to nothing without taxpayer-financed bailouts) awarded themselves an average of $1.8 billion each – that’s about $900,000 an hour (not a typo).
    Why was Wall Street rewarded for nearly destroying the financial system, while BP is (rightly) being punished for polluting the Gulf and killing workers?
    Blame the Brits?The Brits have one answer: BP is British and therefore easy game for American politicians. The idea makes for a nice rhetorical flourish, but I don’t think it accounts for much. My guess is that if a volcano of Exxon oil erupted in the Gulf, our response would be roughly the same. (And I sure hope we won’t find out any time soon.)
    We can see oil but not finance? Another explanation for the double standard is that while Wall Street’s financial shenanigans are an invisible abstraction, the Gulf spill is a graphic nightmare – the oil- coated birds, the once pristine marshes covered with goo – not to mention the oil gushing live and in color on your computer screen.
    However, losing your job overnight because of a financial collapse is pretty tangible. Watching your nice neighborhood become a shabby ghost town because of mortgage foreclosures and plummeting housing prices is not too subtle either. Knowing that Wall Street dons are rolling in dough again while you’re fighting off debt collectors is quite immediate. Seeing your town lay off teachers because the Wall Street-induced crash caused tax revenues to tank is almost as sad as looking at an oil-soaked pelican.
    So what’s really behind the double standard? Power: bankers have more of it than oil execs. Big Oil just isn’t as big as the financial industry anymore.
    Look at it this way: Citigroup was too big to fail. BP isn’t. If it goes under the markets will not crash. Millions won’t lose their jobs. In fact the other oil giants will be only too glad to suck up the business. But when a single major financial entity goes under, the entire economy is at risk.
    That immense power gives the financial sector the moxie to cover up its culpability. We know who to blame for the Gulf spill. But how many people know who to blame for the Wall Street crash? The culprits have spent millions to convince us that they are totally innocent. Instead, it’s the government’s fault for failing to adequately regulate them. Or it’s all those hapless Americans buying houses they couldn’t really afford, touching off a housing bubble.
    BP officials appear red-faced before the congressional committee and admit guilt. But when Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein gets before Congress, he assures us that he’s doing “God’s work.” He might look innocent, but Blankfein and his Wall Street brethren are guilty as sin for polluting our financial system with toxic assets–and walking away with billions (See The Looting of America for all the evidence you need.)
    Politicians know they can get away with slapping BP around. But you better not slap Wall Street–you might upset the markets. God knows we don’t want to give Wall Street the jitters and cause a Dow Jones tumble. Let’s not risk a run on currencies or any other scary reaction that might endanger our feeble jobless recovery. Taking a knock at BP might lose you some oil industry campaign contributions. But the financial industry is the biggest campaign contributor of all–to both Democrats and Republicans.
    Now that Wall Street has collected its bailout billions, it wants the rest of us to tighten our belts. The captains of high finance are demanding that we reduce public debt, which we ran up to bail them out and deal with the mass unemployment they caused. It takes a hell of a lot of nerve. First they crash the system and run away with a fat pocket of cash. They we bail them out and they use the money to pay themselves tens of billions in bonuses. Then they demand that WE clean up our financial act or they won’t loan out any money.
    And sadly, they’re getting away with it. A generation of deregulation and regressive tax policies gave them the keys to the world economy. They now control so much capital that they have the power to veto policiies instantly, just by rapidly moving money around. The porous financial reform bill won’t stop them. The too-big-to-fail giants will grow even bigger. Get ready for more financial toxic shock as Wall Street’s financial engineers drill through the bill’s countless loopholes.
    So next time an oil-blackened snowy egret gets you furious at BP, remember to save some righteous indignation for the financial polluters who are picking your pockets.

    Les Leopold is the author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street’s Game of Fantasy Finance destroyed our Jobs, Pensions and Prosperity, and What We Can Do About It Chelsea Green Publishing, June 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: