Defence Bill Amendment Seeks To End Ban on Propaganda on US Citizens. Also Gay Marriage.

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Can't find a direct link to the amendment and most sources are linking off of Buzzfeed (which is the article I've spoiler'd and linked to) so confirmation is...somewhat spotty. Lack of direct link to the bill may be because it's still being debated by Congress.

That said, given what happened with the last NDAA, I'm kind of inclined to believe this is the case this time.

I can't see any way to defend this. I really can't. I know 1984 is a common go-to example but...well, it's really kind of appropriate here, you know?

Edit/Update: Also they attached an anti-gay marriage thing to the defence bill.

'cos you know, banning gay marriage has a lot to do with national defence. Why? Because FUCK YOU THAT'S WHY.

Honestly adding this update feels like a joke. Like I'm a stand up comedian being all "Republicans and Gay marriage. What's up with that?" and everyone in the club laughs because what is up with that? But then they ACTUALLY DO IT and it's just kinda sad and a little pathetic.

The fuck is wrong with Adam Smith? He doesn't represent my district (I have some crazy republican bitch representing me), but what the fuck. I'd really rather not have the DoD and the Pentagon doing a whole ton of propaganda, Michal Bay already does enough of that. I think that we need less ethnocentrism, and this sort of shit will just cause more.

Ok, I am going to list this under reason why I don't trust my government #456,789,183.

No, the US government should not be able to legally lie to US citizens to convince us to join an extremely dangerous job nor love the government unconditionally.

Spooky stuff, seeing the USA regress like that, one step at a time, on so many different issues. They don't live in a vacuum, after all, so it's not just worrying for the USAians sake but for everybody's.

In a little noticed press release earlier in the week - buried beneath the other high-profile issues in the $642 billion defense bill, including indefinite detention and a prohibition on gay marriage at military installations - Thornberry warned that in the Internet age, the current law "ties the hands of America's diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way."

Translation: "It's getting harder to bullshit people, and that frightens me."

We have the internet. You lose.
At this point, the "War on Terror" is just a smokescreen for grabbing more power over citizens.

What's the fuss? Any statement by the American administration could be viewed as propaganda; should Obama stop speaking to the American people altogether? After all, he does it to persuade the public to accept a certain political concept for the sake of some political objective -- which is propaganda. In a sense, domestic propaganda is already legal in the US. If the US is allowed to advertise its propaganda abroad, all the more it should be allowed to produce domestic propaganda. It's not an 1984 case, as long as they don't start censoring stuff, which isn't going to happen, and has nothing to do with propaganda anyway. Advertising propaganda will probably take the form of short TV broadcasts and internet advertisements, in addition, of course, to speeches to the public which already take place. And maybe some intervention in textbooks, which is something many other countries have been doing for decades (you know, replacing books which contain 'hateful opinions' with books which contain only Politically Correct material). Governments all over the world do this all the time.

I can relate to your concern, but don't present a mouse as an elephant.

I totally support getting rid of this law. There should be absolutely no distinction between the information distributed by the US government between foreign and domestic audiences.

All information distributed by the US government should be 100% factual and objective. Propaganda of any kind should be forbidden, regardless of who is listening to it. Any time anyone in the US government knowingly distributes false information, they should lose their job. Regardless of who the information is being distributed to.

Katatori-kun:

Any time anyone in the US government knowingly distributes false information, they should lose their job.

It's not about information as much as it's about ideological declarations such as "In God We Trust". If private citizens are allowed to make such statements, governments should be allowed too.

Gar0369:

Katatori-kun:

Any time anyone in the US government knowingly distributes false information, they should lose their job.

It's not about information as much as it's about ideological declarations such as "In God We Trust". If private citizens are allowed to make such statements, governments should be allowed too.

Evidence that that's what it's about?

And personally, I strongly disagree. My government has absolutely no business speaking for me about who I trust. It's bad enough that we began printing crap like that on our money in the 50s in some childish attempt to set ourselves apart from the Soviet Union.

Katatori-kun:

Gar0369:

Katatori-kun:

Any time anyone in the US government knowingly distributes false information, they should lose their job.

It's not about information as much as it's about ideological declarations such as "In God We Trust". If private citizens are allowed to make such statements, governments should be allowed too.

Evidence that that's what it's about?

And personally, I strongly disagree. My government has absolutely no business speaking for me about who I trust. It's bad enough that we began printing crap like that on our money in the 50s in some childish attempt to set ourselves apart from the Soviet Union.

Propaganda often asks the citizens to hold a certain opinion, or do a certain action, without providing facts (false information or correct information). Let me give you an example as evidence: in Israeli TV, before the news broadcasts, you can often notice advertisements under the title "Moving to the Negev and to the Galilee". Basically, they present you a short story of a family which has left the urban areas into the peripheral regions, and how happy this family is with its decision. Clearly, this is sponsored by the government on one level or on another. Now, this is obviously propaganda, as it's asking the citizens, for a clearly political objective of populating these areas, to take a certain action (or at least, suggests that making such a decision is beneficial) -- but what's wrong about that? If you don't like it, you can switch to a different channel.

As for your government speaking for you (bolded in your text)... well, one of the purposes of a democratically elected government is to represent the (prevailing) opinion of its citizens. Can't the government do even that? If you accept the legitimacy of your government, and the government officially claims that it trusts a deity, then really, to call yourself a democracy, you have to allow the state at least that.

Gar0369:
Propaganda often asks the citizens to hold a certain opinion, or do a certain action, without providing facts (false information or correct information).

I distinguish propaganda as containing an element of knowing deception. If there is no deception involved in your example of moving to the Negev or Galilee, then I don't have a problem with it. It's no different from the US government telling us to say no to drugs or stay in school. As far as I'm concerned, those things aren't propaganda.

But the moment there is deception, even misleading by omission, then the speech becomes propaganda and unforgivable. It is unacceptable for the government to mislead the public on the dangers of certain drugs, for example. And in that case, it doesn't matter if I am not forced to listen to the information or not. The government has no business making any attempt to mislead it's people- ever. Heads must role whenever the government wastes its resources in such a manner. Nor is it acceptable for any government to mislead citizens of other countries. The moment you accept deception as a valid strategy, you lose the moral high ground. And the moral high ground is the only way to ever really win a conflict.

As for your government speaking for you (bolded in your text)... well, one of the purposes of a democratically elected government is to represent the (prevailing) opinion of its citizens.

Representatives speak for my interests. They don't speak for me. A representative who claims "In God we trust" represents me is working against my interests by misrepresenting me to people of another country. It is unacceptable.

If you accept the legitimacy of your government, and the government officially claims that it trusts a deity,

Then the government has violated the first amendment of the US Constitution and therefore acted illegally. The employee of the government responsible must immediately lose their job and go under criminal investigation.

DrVornoff:

In a little noticed press release earlier in the week - buried beneath the other high-profile issues in the $642 billion defense bill, including indefinite detention and a prohibition on gay marriage at military installations - Thornberry warned that in the Internet age, the current law "ties the hands of America's diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way."

Translation: "It's getting harder to bullshit people, and that frightens me."

Exactly though I don't see the diference between what they want to do and what they've been doing. They lie to us already so how will this change things?

Updated the OP with more information on the bill. I will be providing complimentary morphine drips for those who break their face from applying their palms too hard.

There's a law against the US government misinforming its own people? Why isn't everyone in the government in jail by now?

Katatori-kun:

Gar0369:
Propaganda often asks the citizens to hold a certain opinion, or do a certain action, without providing facts (false information or correct information).

I distinguish propaganda as containing an element of knowing deception.

I expected that such a misunderstanding might arise, so before even posting on this topic, I made sure to fully grasp just what propaganda is according to its textbook definition. And here's what I found:

noun

1. information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
2. the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.
3. the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.
4. Roman Catholic Church .
a. a committee of cardinals, established in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV, having supervision over foreign missions and the training of priests for these missions.
b. a school (College of Propaganda) established by Pope Urban VIII for the education of priests for foreign missions.
5. Archaic . an organization or movement for the spreading of propaganda.

---- n
1. the organized dissemination of information, allegations, etc, to assist or damage the cause of a government, movement, etc
2. such information, allegations, etc

It doesn't mention any element of deception. You speak of misleading, though that's not what propaganda usually does. In most cases, it presents a certain opinion, and then proceeds to address the audience's emotions (Pathos), its logic (Logos), or its morality (Ethos) -- the three classic manners of persuasion. It doesn't have to include information (see definition 3 above, which specifies "doctrines / principles" as opposed to "information"), false or otherwise.

That's the point here: something can be 100% propaganda, without containing a single element of deceit toward the crowd.

As for your government speaking for you (bolded in your text)... well, one of the purposes of a democratically elected government is to represent the (prevailing) opinion of its citizens.

Representatives speak for my interests. They don't speak for me. A representative who claims "In God we trust" represents me is working against my interests by misrepresenting me to people of another country. It is unacceptable.

The representatives speak not for each individual, but for the majority of the citizens. When a government official, let's say even the Foreign Minister, claims that "America wants X" or that "We, the Americans, believe in X", he does it in your name and with your permission -- that's how states usually function. You may personally disagree with whatever he says, but that's irrelevant, as his job is representing the opinion of a majority among Americans, not the opinions of each of the individuals. As you observed yourself, if it can be done on a foreign sphere, it should also be done on the domestic one, one of the reasons you agree with lifting up the law.

The "In God We Trust" declaration may be against your opinion, even against your interests (though it's a declaration of faith, not of an interest and not of an intention to pursue a certain interest, but whatever), but it is supposed to speak for the American people who apparently condone this statement.

If you accept the legitimacy of your government, and the government officially claims that it trusts a deity,

Then the government has violated the first amendment of the US Constitution and therefore acted illegally. The employee of the government responsible must immediately lose their job and go under criminal investigation.

You see, the thing is, the government doesn't actually speak as an independent body, but rather in the name of a majority of Americans who have elected the government; and so the government is entitled to make such declarations of belief as long as the majority approves. The text of the Firt Amendment is:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It has no relation to a declaration of the faith held by the majority of Americans as the democratically elected government understands it, and made with the approval of said majority.

I understand your feeling of having your rights violated, but technically they aren't - as the government merely represents the prevailing opinion among a majority of the citizens, neither forcing anything nor indoctrinating officially. I think the American government should conduct a poll, asking the Americans whether they want the declaration to be removed from new dollars, or not. If the majority sides with you, then the state will have to remove the declaration. If not, well, sorry, but in a democracy the majority rules.

Shit, I feel sorry for you guys over in the US, if you're congress keeps going at this rate its going to be a tough few years.

On a partially related note, I hope that soon all of those dicks in congress wing up unelected or dead (or in a international court being charged for fucking up the world) soon or the world not just the USA is going to be shit in the next few decades..

Gar0369:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It has no relation to a declaration of the faith held by the majority of Americans as the democratically elected government understands it, and made with the approval of said majority.

I understand your feeling of having your rights violated, but technically they aren't - as the government merely represents the prevailing opinion among a majority of the citizens, neither forcing anything nor indoctrinating officially. I think the American government should conduct a poll, asking the Americans whether they want the declaration to be removed from new dollars, or not. If the majority sides with you, then the state will have to remove the declaration. If not, well, sorry, but in a democracy the majority rules.

Lynch vs. Donnelly->Endorsement Test.

Government ain't allowed to endorse one religious viewpoint.

Amnestic:

Gar0369:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It has no relation to a declaration of the faith held by the majority of Americans as the democratically elected government understands it, and made with the approval of said majority.

I understand your feeling of having your rights violated, but technically they aren't - as the government merely represents the prevailing opinion among a majority of the citizens, neither forcing anything nor indoctrinating officially. I think the American government should conduct a poll, asking the Americans whether they want the declaration to be removed from new dollars, or not. If the majority sides with you, then the state will have to remove the declaration. If not, well, sorry, but in a democracy the majority rules.

Lynch vs. Donnelly->Endorsement Test.

Government ain't allowed to endorse one religious viewpoint.

First of all, it's not at all one religious viewpoint, since, albeit excluding Polytheists, claiming "In God We Trust" doesn't specify just which exact deity is referred to, it could be Jesus as well as Allah. We know from history that America was established by people with somewhat diverging religious views, so it's hardy a reference to a deity of any particular "one religion" in its traditional sense.

Second, it's not at all endorsement, just a declaration of an existing fact: the majority of Americans believes in ("has trust in") an unspecified "God". It's not calling on the individual citizen to accept any particular religious point of view, nor introducing the predilection (preferability) of one religious belief above another.

Weak, weak argument you've got there.

Gar0369:

Katatori-kun:

Gar0369:
Propaganda often asks the citizens to hold a certain opinion, or do a certain action, without providing facts (false information or correct information).

I distinguish propaganda as containing an element of knowing deception.

I expected that such a misunderstanding might arise, so before even posting on this topic, I made sure to fully grasp just what propaganda is according to its textbook definition. And here's what I found:

[b]noun

Yeah, I'm going to stop you right there, because you're spouting bullshit. There is no "textbook" definition of propaganda. Dictionary-style definitions of words are inherently inaccurate because language is flexible and defies definition. Resorting to such tactics is the mark of someone winning an argument at the expense of actually listening to what their opposition has to say.

You speak of misleading, though that's not what propaganda usually does.

Oh? Take a look at some of the famous examples of American propaganda (there are a lot of them from WWII) and tell me there isn't misleading, misinforming, or deception present.

The representatives speak not for each individual, but for the majority of the citizens.

Incorrect. I'm not going to speak for all the other barbarous nations in the world, but the USA is not a majority rules country. We have checks and balances in place to prevent majority rules. They don't always work well (see gay marriage), but in principle just because the majority want something doesn't mean they get their way.

The "In God We Trust" declaration may be against your opinion, even against your interests (though it's a declaration of faith, not of an interest and not of an intention to pursue a certain interest, but whatever),

I strongly disagree again. It's against the interests of myself and every freedom-minded citizen to have empty, knee-jerk appeals to a deity printed on our money just because our grandfathers went hysterical with fear of communism.

You see, the thing is, the government doesn't actually speak as an independent body,

Evidence, please. And no dodging like you did last time, please.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It has no relation to a declaration of the faith held by the majority of Americans as the democratically elected government understands it, and made with the approval of said majority.

As Amnestic says, this is 100% incorrect.

If the majority sides with you, then the state will have to remove the declaration. If not, well, sorry, but in a democracy the majority rules.

Only in a democracy without a constitution or rights. Luckily in the US we have those.

So you're telling me people in the government actually believe the "they're fighting for our rights" argument? I mean it's such a misguided notion that terrorists want our freedoms taken away when they've never said anything of the such. I mean in the last 10 years the US government has been caught purposefully mistranslating Bin Laden's messages as well as forcing down horrible justifications for the military such as the "they're fighting for our rights" argument.

How about this: instead of misinforming (via lies, omission, or any method) people in order to get them to support the military, how about getting the military not to do things people disapprove of? Did that not occur to anybody?

Godavari:
How about this: instead of misinforming (via lies, omission, or any method) people in order to get them to support the military, how about getting the military not to do things people disapprove of? Did that not occur to anybody?

Then whence would the money for the politicians come? Much fewer wars, much fewer continued committments, much fewer defense expenditures? The donors wouldn't like that!

Katatori-kun:

Yeah, I'm going to stop you right there, because you're spouting bullshit. There is no "textbook" definition of propaganda. Dictionary-style definitions of words are inherently inaccurate because language is flexible and defies definition. Resorting to such tactics is the mark of someone winning an argument at the expense of actually listening to what their opposition has to say.

I agreed completely with your post, but this stuck out to me. Why are you even bothering? The definition he has given doesn't change the fundamental point of your argument in the least and perhaps the most that should be said is "Then let me be clear for you, I am against the government conducting any sort of deceptive propaganda anywhere". At worst, he wins imaginary dick-waving points and at best he will end up having a better understanding of what you're saying. Otherwise you get mired in a pointless essentialist argument where both parties have already forgotten what was originally contested and now mini-battles are fought on irrelevant auxiliary fronts.

Amnestic:
Edit/Update: Also they attached an anti-gay marriage thing to the defence bill.

'cos you know, banning gay marriage has a lot to do with national defence. Why? Because FUCK YOU THAT'S WHY.

To quote Lewis Black, it's tough being a comedian right now because headlines are punchlines.

Republicans don't seem to understand that they lost this fight. It's fucking over. They just have no fucking concept of how to run a government. I want to find every one of these Tea Party assholes who have pushed the overton window so far into the lunatic right and punch them in the nuts. They are a compelling argument for bringing back Athenian ostracism.

LetalisK:

Katatori-kun:

Yeah, I'm going to stop you right there, because you're spouting bullshit. There is no "textbook" definition of propaganda. Dictionary-style definitions of words are inherently inaccurate because language is flexible and defies definition. Resorting to such tactics is the mark of someone winning an argument at the expense of actually listening to what their opposition has to say.

I agreed completely with your post, but this stuck out to me. Why are you even bothering? The definition he has given doesn't change the fundamental point of your argument in the least and perhaps the most that should be said is "Then let me be clear for you, I am against the government conducting any sort of deceptive propaganda anywhere". At worst, he wins imaginary dick-waving points and at best he will end up having a better understanding of what you're saying. Otherwise you get mired in a pointless essentialist argument where both parties have already forgotten what was originally contested and now mini-battles are fought on irrelevant auxiliary fronts.

You are absolutely right. But one of the things I tire of is people pulling up a dictionary definition on this form as though it invalidates everything said. Gar0369 is even more obnoxious than usual by not citing his source, but it happens here a lot. It particularly sticks in my craw because I study the teaching of languages and misuse of dictionary definitions and failure to comprehend exactly what meaning is is something that is a serious concern in my field. So I have personal reasons for tilting at that particular windmill. It's a bit like being an astrophysicist in a world where people constantly use "light year" as a measure of time.

The military is very slow to adapt to things. Women first started serving in 1901 and we're just now starting to ease them closer to the front. Give it another century or so and I'm sure gays will be able to marry in military chapels

Katatori-kun:
So I have personal reasons for tilting at that particular windmill. It's a bit like being an astrophysicist in a world where people constantly use "light year" as a measure of time.

Ah, understandable. I get like that too whenever someone thinks Sigmund Freud and his theories are the entirety of psychology.

Wait, this Akin fellow is from Missouri? Lordy, come next election I'll be trying to fix that.

Seriously, this takes a lot of gall. I hope Republicans are severely punished for all of this anti-gay rhetoric in the next few elections. They may think they've got a lot of support from the tea party and the evangelicals, but I don't think they've realized exactly how many moderates they've run out of their ranks in the last couple of years. Though perhaps they have realized they're on the losing end of the battle and are trying to go out with a bang. And if they keep going at this rate, it's going to be a bang the GOP will be cleaning up after for a very, very long time.

dyre:
There's a law against the US government misinforming its own people? Why isn't everyone in the government in jail by now?

There's a law against targeting propaganda at its own people. Good old every day life shattering lies are not covered.

OT: This looks like a political ploy rather than any serious attempt to get it passed. I suspect that the republicans want this bill shot down so they can yell about Obama saying NO to whatever portion of the bill they think would have been popular.

It is a common tactic, and one I am sick to death of. Near the top of the list of things I would change about our government is the banning of random addons like this. Sneaking little unrelated snippets onto larger bills has got to stop. Aside from the bullshit maneuvering, it wastes the time of a political body that already consistently fails to complete even the majority of its duties.

Wow, on the tacked on gay marriage stuff, low blow. I look forward to the Senate/Obama tearing apart that part of the bill.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Wow, on the tacked on gay marriage stuff, low blow. I look forward to the Senate/Obama tearing apart that part of the bill.

i dont know hopefully it gets ripped apart, but you never know with the government and its cooky mood swings.

edit: post 999 hmm make 1000 post or should i quit forever? or start a new account and get to 999 again?

keiskay:

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Wow, on the tacked on gay marriage stuff, low blow. I look forward to the Senate/Obama tearing apart that part of the bill.

i dont know hopefully it gets ripped apart, but you never know with the government and its cooky mood swings.

edit: post 999 hmm make 1000 post or should i quit forever? or start a new account and get to 999 again?

Yeah, the Dems haven't been the most trustworthy in recent years (read: have shown no spine) but maybe with Obama's recent endorsement of gay marriage they will feel compelled to do something. And if you change accounts, let me know. I want to keep track of regulars here. Don't confuse me. :P

"beefing up military spending $8 billion beyond the agreed-upon limit" that and the propaganda bit make me hope so badly Obama will veto it. Then again he also said he'd veto the last one that allowed for the infinite detention of US citizens but that never happened.

Xan Krieger:
"beefing up military spending $8 billion beyond the agreed-upon limit" that and the propaganda bit make me hope so badly Obama will veto it. Then again he also said he'd veto the last one that allowed for the infinite detention of US citizens but that never happened.

No, but he did set things up so anyone arrested by civilian cops would never get handed over to the military, so there's that. And last I'd heard, it looks like the courts may have shot that one down, thankfully.

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