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Saturday, May 30th

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The Canadian Ministry of "Truth": "Reality Is Whatever We Say It Is"

Canada Ministry of TruthOne of the frightening aspects of ideology is how easy its governing principles can be obscured behind tautologies and reality-denying affirmations that are then effortlessly absorbed en masse simply through continuous repetition.

Ideology articulated in tautological form is what Orwell captured in his novel 1984 when he reduced Ingsoc (English Socialism) to three infamous slogans intended to shape and discipline the minds of Oceania's citizens: War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength. These statements appear to say two different things, but they actually say the same thing twice. They cannot be factually or logically refuted because they are self-reinforcing statements that point back to themselves. However, they do play an essential role in what Noam Chomsky has called the "manufacture of consent."

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Alex Baer: Brainstorms, Lightning Rounds, Sparks, Shorts, and Mystery Melons

brain sparksIt's been a week now, and I'm starting to experiment with concepts a bit longer than "Guhh," "Yow!" and "Uhh, I'm sorry -- were we talking just now?"

A while ago, my brain decided to take out a loan on my leftover lung cancer account, slowly piddling itself away in administrative account fees, apparently, as approved by some corporate raider gene I never knew I had lurking in my genetic banking system. Those break-out, cancerous seed cells were used to find, and dam up, a slower-moving chunk of the real estate river and eddies in my head. Beaver-like, these cells were made into a cozy submarine-houseboat-lodge -- and jammed right against the part of my well-fatted head's control surfaces for my outer body's motor skills uses.

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Bob Alexander: It’s Happy-Time Again … And it’s Awesome!

Happy Time AgainAll the candidates are getting themselves good and greased up eager to be sodomized by their favorite billionaire in the hope there’ll be a hefty campaign contribution left on top of the dresser before the billionaire leaves the motel room.

Too harsh? How ‘bout this …

Hillary Clinton cares as much about “Everyday Americans” as I care about the microbes that live in the P-trap under the kitchen sink in the house across the street.

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So What if the Iranians Got Nuclear Weapons?

Uri Avnery editorialI MUST start with a shocking confession: I am not afraid of the Iranian nuclear bomb.

I know that this makes me an abnormal person, almost a freakBut what can I do? I am unable to work up fear, like a real Israeli. Try as I may, the Iranian bomb does not make me hysterical.

My father once taught me how to withstand blackmail: imagine that the awful threat of the blackmailer has already come about. Then you can tell him: Go to hell.

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Alex Baer: Too Many Fronts, Not Enough Back

GOP clownsMilitary strategists will tell you almost anything in order to get a new war contract or get a green light to go stomp something. But they'll also mix in some truth from time to time. One of these truths is that nobody ever wins a war having too many fronts.

The concept has never been clearer to me. I am surrounded, and they're closing in on all sides. The war I'm waging, and very clearly losing, is one of basic interest.

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Bibi’s Ugly Win Will Harm Israel

Bibi's ugly winIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu won a big election Tuesday, but he won ugly by staking out a new position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is likely to harm his nation in the months ahead.

A reckoning is coming—faster than expected—for Netanyahu, his Likud Party and maybe even for the State of Israel itself.

Complete returns showed that Netanyahu’s Likud Party won 29 seats in the Knesset to 24 seats for the Zionist Union (formerly Labor) Party headed by Isaac Herzog, who ran a more spirited campaign than expected but almost certainly fell short of the support necessary to form a government.

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Bob Alexander: Do You Believe This For a Second?

GOP brainI don't.

From Crooks and Liars Study: Oh Yes, We Can Change Conservative Minds by Susie Madrak - http://crooksandliars.com/2015/02/study-oh-yes-we-can-change-conservative

I've never seen it happen once. The article says it's possible. But ... the real question is ... Is It Probable?

Here's the problem:

Fariss Samarrai, author of the study, American Liberals and Conservatives Think as if From Different Cultures states, " ... political thought was somewhat malleable. They discovered that if they trained holistic thinkers to think analytically, for example, to match scarf with mitten, they would subsequently start viewing the world more liberally (though not on economic policy). Likewise, liberals, if trained to think holistically, would come to form more conservative opinions."

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