20. May 2018 · Categories: Uncategorized

A recent poll question sponsored by USA Today/Suffolk University has caused quite a stir in the media…

President Trump has called the Special Counsel’s investigation a ‘witch hunt’ and said he’s been subjected to more investigations than previous presidents because of politics. Do you agree?

Unless they are tuned for detecting bullshit, poll respondents will not always notice that this is a loaded question. This should always be suspect when the question is a simple yes or no reference to a separate sentence that actually says two different things. So what are we agreeing with? That the investigation is a ‘witch hunt’ or that Trump has been subjected to more investigations than previous presidents? What if you don’t agree that the investigation is a witch hunt but recognize the fact that Trump has been under more investigations than previous presidents?

The poll leaves no room for specific answers and instead asks for only one simple “yes” or “no”. Another key to this technique is to base the “convincing” statement on facts. At this point in time, there are no measurable ways to qualify Trump’s assumption that the investigation is a witch hunt, yet the number of investigations into presidents past and present is a matter of fact and people respond more readily to information that they can recognize as such. So it’s a question that uses a factual statement to solicit a “yes” answer that gives a piggy-back ride to a non-factual statement that by itself might not have encouraged the same response.

But this isn’t where the trickery stops.

It’s hard to imagine that when USA Today partnered with Suffolk University, they weren’t thinking ahead to publishing the results. Sometimes that can add another level to the deception, the misleading headline. Here’s how it looked on USA Today…

Poll: Half of Americans say Trump is victim of a ‘witch hunt’ as trust in Mueller erodes


There is also this one from the National-Review, referencing the same poll…

Poll: 50 Percent Say Mueller Investigation Is ‘Witch Hunt’


Notice how in both headlines, the factual statement about the number of investigations completely disappeared? The job of that statement is done, it got “yes” answers from 50% of the respondents but it’s obviously the other statement that gets all the attention in the headline.

So nice job USA Today,


24. March 2004 · Categories: Uncategorized

All politics aside, I think the world population is a bottom line that can’t be ignored. It affects everything. The U.S. Census Bureau says that the world population is declining.

For me the magnitude of the population issue generates the power to bend my morals-based reasoning. (At least within context of passive consideration.)

For example, consider the AIDS issue in Africa, which is nothing smaller than the Black Plague that haunts our Eurocentric history books.

Today, large percentages of populations are being slaughtered by hunger and disease. According to what I remember from the Economist’s 2002 Annual Issue, there is a correlation between population growth and education.

I tend to think of it more in terms of specific poplulations, for instance, North America and Europe having been industrialized the longest and generating enough wealth to send a waves of prosperity and elevated life styles under the feet of a middle class, but… when the middle class gets too wise, growing smaller families and larger estates, population growth declines and the population itself, get’s older and more expensive.

Wouldn’t this explain the hunger for money to consume the developing world? On a scale of one continent to one American mid-west city, the effect can already be predicted. Just look at the way the first wave of American industrialism sparked off fires of energy and wealth creating cities like Detriot and Chicago. The fires burn white hot in the centers of these cities, until new fuel is found in the developing areas outside, and the money vacated, leaving behind the ‘hoods of a burned-out inner-city.

Anyway, getting back to world population, the plague that is ravaging Africa and many other regions, is causing a reversal in population growth. This kind of balances things out, doesn’t it? And since it’s the developing nations that have been inflating the world population, their hunger and disease should slow global population down. Overall, from a pure logical stand point, this sounds like a good thing for those of us in the exhaust population, doesn’t it? At least, giving us time to attempt a controlled crash, rather than a psychotic one.

This is why I’m ultimatley disconnected. I can’t always resolve the conflict between what makes logical sense and my deeper sense of morals.
Source: BBC

This is a quote from an anonymous Bush-fan on the Hannity discussion site a few days ago.

Basically, President Bush showing up in Baghdad sends a clear message to the Butcher that while he can’t make public appearances anymore, the President of the United States could.

…and my response:
Bush had to sneak in, only stayed for 2 hours, and then tip-toed out again. I applaud him for taking the risk to boost morale amongst our troops, but I don’t call that a message to the Iraqis. I don’t know why people regard Iraqi’s as less intelligent than ourselves. They are no doubt, flooded with media coverage of the visit (after the event), but it seems likely that they have a culture of their own where value is found in people being real. Sooner or later, they are going to completely disregard any Bush PR as being distrustful, if Bush doesn’t come out and show himself in the flesh, if nothing else to show his bravado. (To the Iraqis, not just his own troops)

Look at the few clips that we ever see of SH… He’s always surrounded by crowds and holding some kind of a weapon. We see Bush all the time, surrounded by screened out reporters – not the same thing. All I’m pointing out here is that SH *is* Iraqi… His approach to PR is probably more on target with Iraqis.

I think the message was that Bush had to sneak in and out. For crying out loud, he had to sneak out of his ranch, at 05:00 am, without even telling his family. “President’s security can’t even trust their own.” There’s a nice message.

You seem real hung up on stacking up munitions to measure strength, but these Iraqis, arabs in general, obviously know how to network, they know how to infiltrate and terrorism is their weapon of choice. Their religion tells them that victory is not a function of firepower.

So, maybe the whole thing was another PR stunt and the US is actually in total control and Bush could have just as easily flew in on a balloon, it still wouldn’t matter… The fact remains that the media coverage tells the story of a sneak out the back window. The Iraqi’s are bound to feel more confidence in their ability to have an impact on the President of the USA.

But wait, there’s more…

The fact that the media coverage made no comment on who may be causing the “landing with no lights” caution, any of the agitators may be getting the same high from it, including OBL.

and finally, the thing that makes sense of all of this…

The war in Iraq is a cash cow. The School of International Affairs at the George Washington University estimates $202 billion by 2010, based on existing contracts. The seed money is all collected through federal tax, making it a socialist engine. The only engine that doesn’t take supply-side fuel, but that’s okay if you can segregate the tax brackets. In anycase, that last $87 billion of socialist money, will return high yields for the investors.

The risks are accepted and sometimes even beneficial as in the case of emotional risks to US troops that spawn political support, which is crucial for any socialist engine.

Darkwind, It seems we have radically different perspectives on all of this.
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither”
– Ben Franklin, 1759