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Getting Smart About Stupid Communication

By davidswanson - Posted on 16 May 2010

By David Swanson

Reducing political discourse to advertising slogans loses almost everything of value. Without lengthy books that develop complex ideas, we'd be so lost we'd never produce a worthwhile bumper sticker. The notion that facts don't matter because only emotional appeals to "values" sway anyone is an absurd and arrogant over-simplification. And, yet, something is gained, as well, in producing powerful and catchy imagery and slogans that at least disrupt the way people think about things. Rewriting "Columbus discovered America" as "Columbus invaded America" does alter the entire story. The image of tiny activist boats going up against enormous whaling ships does reverse the imagery of heroic sailors battling a leviathan. "Support the troops, bring them home," is a useful slogan.

A useful website, with an excellent book for sale on how to construct powerful stories that begin to change the way people think is The book is packed with excellent examples and even worksheets to get you thinking about how accepted wisdom can be challenged in 10 words or less. The book is short and packed with enough imagery and redundant pull-quotes to presumably appeal to the shortest known attention span, but would be well worth reading in plain text.

Inspired to go short and visual, myself, I've just created the flyer illustrated at the left. I may find a better way to do it. Or maybe the folks at can think up a way. The accepted wisdom I want to challenge is the belief that, no matter what other catastrophic consequences are involved, it is better for dark-skinned foreign people to suffer continuing violence under a U.S. occupation than it is for them to take their chances and work out their own fate after that occupation ends. To many people in the United States, the possibility of violence after a withdrawal of U.S. troops is a horrific nightmare, while the certainty of ongoing violence during an occupation is not a concern. Somehow, this sort of thinking needs to be challenged. And there may be an image or a slogan that does the job, whether I've found it yet or not.

But there may be another layer of assumed nonsense underlying the racism and militarism involved here, possibly several, and they can almost certainly best be understood through a great many more words than fit on a poster. And putting them on a poster once they are understood may, nonetheless, enrich the understanding. Here's an example of what I mean. The following is offered as an example in the book:

"Republicans put purple ink on their fingers for Bush's 2005 State of the Union Address. The purple dye invoked the ink that was applied to Iraqi citizens' fingers at the polls after they cast their vote in the first election since the U.S. invasion. For Republicans, it served as a visual cue for the Bush administration's new 'Freedom is on the March' story of U.S. foreign policy. This control meme was created in an attempt to re-justify a military invasion that had been exposed as an illegal operation based on lies -- when the U.S. failed to discover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

Of course, many Americans believe the weapons of mass destruction existed even though not found, and many in fact believe that they were found. But the above account still makes sense, as far as it goes. Those paying attention knew full well that there were no "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, and it was quite apparent that the Bush White House had no basis to claim otherwise. Had something been found, that lucky break would not have altered the falseness of a great many claims made in the lead-up to the invasion. Yet, the story still makes a certain sense. Or, rather, it would if not for a giant gaping hole in the accepted logic employed. Simply put: a nation's possession of weapons does not in any way legalize an attack by another nation. Had every claim about Iraqi weapons been true and honest, the invasion would still have been absolutely illegal and immoral. But the government and the corporate media framed the debate so successfully as one about whether or not Iraq had weapons, that radical meme busters still play their assigned role in that bogus debate.

But this critique is essentially to say to the SmartMemers: Yes, but more of it. If we want to debunk the purple-fingered march of freedom and the weapons as war justification, then we have to communicate the actual status of the law and the actual motivations behind the wars. We have to shift the conversation to one about war profiteering, imperial base construction, and oil. And if we can do so with clever props and posters, more power to us. We probably can't do it otherwise. Certainly, many smart memes helped turn the U.S. public against the war lies five or six years ago. But the revelations and taboo ideas don't endure long in the corporate media, not because they're less pithy than those of neocon Neanderthals, but because of who owns the media. My only complaint with the structural plan laid out in SmartMeme's book "Re-Imagining Change," is the practice of purchasing ads in corporate media. Doing so can have good effects but is guaranteed bad ones as well, namely the funding of the propaganda you are challenging.

If we had our own media outlets, we could develop our thoughts and images in short, medium, and long form every day of the year, producing far more powerful memes than we are capable of creating as outsiders and gadflies. The messages we need most desperately are the ones that will persuade people to struggle for the creation of major independent private or public news media. If a meme can do that, it will have to be a GeniusMeme.


David, I like your energy level lately. I would like to enclose a link that best explains why the guy who reports our media does not ask his employer to permit quality journalism, or why he does not quit his job if he sees that this position is not anything to be proud of. Just as, our servants at the FCC, our President which looks over this organization, our judicial system, and the public that all enable this journalist.

You might remember when you did something bad, you probably looked around to see if someone seen you do it. If your friends wanted to remain liked by this fellow, then he probably turned his head the other way. And that in business, how often are we ignoring reason and intuition to just just go along so we have a job. If one was to stick his neck out at work, it would probably not get any support form his coworkers, because they are thinking they might also loose their jobs. So the acting goes on, and everyone pretends they are happy with what they are doing, and if someone has any ideas that cause this to disrupted, then this whistle blower will get mean looks, he will be ignored and even demoted. That we all learn to no longer try to make things better, instead just go along. We are trained daily to be a good soldier in societies norms.

But there is a sense about us, that we are all wondering if there is something better, we are both curious to what we have done and ashamed. That we feel duped, tricked, fooled, mislead, and thus lost. That we each are waiting for the sign, a start to somewhere better.

The only way each of us will begin to feel better, is to talk about it; and when you hear yourself say out loud, it will then seem more real. Your initial shock become anger, then denial, articulation of your needs, ways of implementation, and then relief and pride. That it is a process when taking on this responsibility. But there is a golden carrot at the end of the trail. We need a little back bone here, and others to support these first responders. To make first responders feel like the super heroes they are, and aspire to be just like him.

Václav Havel: The Power of the Powerless


Émile Zola - quote, If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, I will answer you: I am here to live out loud!

Doris Lessing - quote, Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.

Rahul Bose - quote, If the character has the motivation to dance round trees, then I will dance round trees. If the motivation is strong enough, then I'll fly to the moon.

Jonas Salk - quote, What is … important is that we — number one: Learn to live with each other. Number two: try to bring out the best in each other. The best from the best, and the best from those who, perhaps, might not have the same endowment. And so this bespeaks an entirely different philosophy — a different way of life — a different kind of relationship — where the object is not to put down the other, but to raise up the other.

Jonas Salk - quote, What you see in living systems, and in genetic systems, is that the genes are already there, having arisen in the course of time, and when they are needed they become activated. If they had to be invented, the time would be too late. By the same token, I think that the people who are needed to help guide the future already exist. They simply need to recognize this in themselves, react to the opportunities that prevail, and also be valued and be encouraged. It's that very large, and as yet amorphous, rung that is of interest to me. I hope to articulate this, and see to what extent it makes sense to others as well.

Nikos Kazantzakis - Wikiquote, "Love responsibility. Say: "It is my duty, and mine alone, to save the earth. If it is not saved, then I alone am to blame."
"Love each man according to his contribution in the struggle. Do not seek friends; seek comrades-in-arms

Ronald David Laing - quote, We are all murderers and prostitutes — no matter to what culture, society, class, nation, we belong, no matter how normal, moral, or mature we take ourselves to be. Humanity is estranged from its authentic possibilities. This basic vision prevents us from taking any unequivocal view of the sanity of common sense, or of the madness of the so-called madman. … Our alientation goes to the roots. The realisation of this is the essential springboard for any serious reflection on any aspect of present inter-human life.

Doris Lessing - quote, Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: "You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society."

Alice Miller (psychologist) - quote, In my own therapy it was my experience that it was precisely the opposite of forgiveness —namely, rebellion against mistreatment suffered, the recognition and condemnation of my parents' destructive opinions and actions, and the articulation of my own needs— that ultimately freed me from the past.

Bob Dylan - Wikiquote, Don't follow leaders Watch the parkin' meters

Dr. Seuss - quote, Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

for all that!

Jubilee 2012

The Hidden Empire

1. City States.

Did the world wars, revolutions and big events of human history happen naturally or coincidentally, or were they calculated and pre-planned? If they were pre planned, who planned them?

The answer to this question can be found within the boundaries of three of the worlds most powerful cities. Those three cities belong to no nation and pay no taxes. They are Washington's District of Columbia, which is not part of the city of Washington or the United States. The inner city of London, which is not part of London or England, and Vatican city, which is not part of Rome or Italy.

These cities, called City States, have their own independent flag, their own separate laws and their own separate identity.

2. Vatican City

Gracing the walls of St Peter's Basilica is the Vatican-approved image of God. An angry bearded man in the sky, painted by Michael Angelo. Cruel and violent images of God's tortured son, suffering, bleeding and dying with thorns gouged through his skull and nails pounded through his feet and hands are on display throughout the Vatican. These images serve as reminders that God allowed his son to be tortured and killed to save the souls of human beings who are all bourn sinners.

The Vatican rules over approximately 2bn of the worlds 6.2bn people. The colossal wealth of the Vatican includes enormous investments with the Rothschilds in Britain, France and the USA and with giant oil and weapons corporations like Shell and General Electric. The Vatican solid gold bullion, worth billions is stored with the Rothschild controlled Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve Bank.

The Catholic Church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence, possessing more material wealth than any bank, corporation, giant trust or government anywhere on the globe.

While 2/3 of the world earns less than $2 a day, and 1/5 of the world is underfed or starving to death, the Vatican hoards the world's wealth, profits from it on the stock market and at the same time preaches about giving.

So how did the Vatican accumulate all that wealth over the millennium? One method was to put a price-tag on sin. Many bishops and popes actively marketed gilt, sin and fear for profit, by selling indulgences. Worshipers were encouraged to pre-pay for sins they hadn't yet committed and get pardoned ahead of time. Those who didn't pay-up risked eternal damnation. Another method was to get wealthy land owners to hand-over their land and fortune to the church on their death bed, in exchange for a blessing which would supposedly enable them to go to heaven.

Pope Leo the fifth rebuilt St Peter's Basilica, by selling tickets out of hell and tickets to heaven.

During the dark ages, the Catholic Church not only hoarded the wealth they collected from the poor, but they hoarded knowledge. They kept the masses ignorant and in the dark by denying them a basic education. They also prohibited anyone from reading or even possessing a Bible, under pain of death.

Between 1095 and 1291 AD the Pope launched 7 blood baths called the Christian Crusaides, torturing, murdering, beheading and mass murdering hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Jews in the name of God. The Pope's brutal solders were called Knights Templar or Knights of the Temple of Solomon and evolved into today's secretive brotherhood called the Freemasons.

Between 1450 and 1700 AD the Catholic Church followed up their holy terror with the inquisition. Based on rumours of practicing witchcraft, the Catholic Church hunted down, tortured and burned-alive tens of thousands of innocent women at the stake.

During World War 2 the Vatican was criticized for supporting Hitler and his Nazi regime. To this day, the Vatican is still under investigation for plundering Nazi gold from the Swiss bank accounts of Jewish holocaust victims.

Over the past 5 decades more than one thousand five hundred priests and bishops have been identified in the sexual assault of tens of thousands of boys and girls in their trusting congregations and orphanages.

Why is the filthy rich institution preaching spiritual values of poverty and chastity while cardinals, bishops and priests cover-up their crimes of sexual abuse? Why has the church fought and resisted the compensation claims of their sexually, emotionally and spiritually traumatised victims?

3. The City of London.

Like Vatican city, London's inner city is also a privately owned corporation or city state, located right in the middle of greater London. It became a sovereign state in 1694 when king William the third of Orange privatised and turned the Bank of England over to the bankers. Today the City State of London is the world's financial power centre and the wealthiest square mile on the face of the Earth. It houses the Rothschild controlled Bank of England, Lloyds of London, the London stock exchange, all British banks, the branch offices of 385 foreign banks and 70 US banks. It has its own courts, its own laws, its own flag and its own police force. It is not part of greater London, or England, or the British Commonwealth and pays no taxes. The City State of London houses Fleet Street's newspaper and publishing monopolies. It is also the headquarters for world wide English Freemasonry, and headquarters for the world wide money cartel known as The Crown.

Contrary to popular belief, The Crown is not the Royal Family or the British Monarch. The Crown is the private corporate City State of London. It has a council of 12 members who rule the corporation under a mayor, called the lord mayor. The lord mayor and his 12 member council serves as proxies or representatives who sit-in for 13 of the worlds wealthiest, most powerful banking families, including the Rothschild family, the Warburg family, the Oppenheimer family and the Schiff family. These families and their descendants run the Crown Corporation of London.

The Crown Corporation holds the title to world wide Crown land in Crown colonies like Canada, Australia and New Zealand. British parliament and the British prime minister serve as a public front for the hidden power of these ruling crown families.

4. The District of Columbia.

Like the City States of London and the Vatican, a third city state was officially created in 1871, with the passage of the Act of 1871. That city state is called the District of Columbia and is located on 10sq miles of land in the heart of Washington. The District of Columbia flies its own flag, and has its own independent constitution.

The constitution for the District of Columbia operates under a tyrannical Roman law known as Lex Fori, which bares no resemblance to the US Constitution. When congress passed the act of 1871 it created a separate corporation known as THE UNITED STATES and corporate government for the District of Columbia. This treasonous act allowed the District of Columbia to operate as a corporation outside the original constitution of the United States and outside of the best interests of American Citizens.

Although geographically separate, the city states of London, the Vatican and the District of Columbia are one interlocking empire called Empire of the City.

The flag of Washington's district of Columbia has three red stars. One for each city state in the three city empire. This corporate empire of three city states controls the world economically, through London's inner city, militarily through the District of Columbia, and spiritually through the Vatican.

5. The U.S.A. - A Crown Colony.

A sobering study of the signed treaties and charters between Britain and the United States exposes a shocking truth. The United States has always been and still is a British Crown colony.

King James the first was famous not for just translating the Bible into the king James version. But for signing the first charter of Virginia in 1606. That charter granted America's British forefathers a licence to settle and colonise America. The charter also guaranteed that future kings and queens of England would have sovereign authority over all the citizens and colonised land in America, stolen from the Indians.

After America declared its independence from great Brittan, the treaty of 1783 was signed. That treaty specifically identifies the king of England as the prince of the United States and contradicts the belief that America won the war of independence.

Although king George the 3rd. of England gave up most of his claims over American colonies, he kept his right to continue receiving payment for his business venture of colonising America.

If America had really won the war of independence, they would never have agreed to pay debts and reparations to the king of England.

America's blood soaked war of independence against the British bankrupted America and turned its citizens into permanent debt slaves of the king. In the war of 1812 the British torched and burned to the ground the Whitehouse and all US government buildings. Destroying ratification records of the US constitution.

Most US citizens believe that the United States is a country and that the president is the most powerful man on earth. The United States is not a country, it is a corporation. And the president is president of the corporation of the United States. He and his elected officials work for the corporation, not for the American people. Since the United States is a corporation, who owns the corporation of the United States?

Like Canada and Australia whose leaders are prime ministers of the queen, and whose land is called Crown Land, the United States is just another crown colony. Crown colonies are controlled by the Empire of the three City States.

6. Obelisks

At the centre of each city state is a towering phallic shaped stone monument called an obelisk that points skyward. In DC city state, the obelisk known as the Washington monument was dedicated to the freemason George Washington by the Freemason grand lodge of the District of Columbia. 250 Masonic lodges financed the Washington obelisk monument, including the Knights Templar Masonic order.

At the heart of London city state, is a 187 ton 69 foot tall Egyptian obelisk called Cleopatra's Needle. It was transported from Egypt and erected on the banks of the river Thames.

In Vatican city, another Egyptian obelisk towers high above St Peter's square.

Obelisks are phallic shaped monuments honouring the pagan sun god of ancient Egypt called Amen Ra. The spirit of this pagan god is said to reside within the obelisk.

Interesting, but could you share your source, please ?


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