Tag: Propaganda

Rep. Lauren Boebert wants government to take orders from the church

U.S. House Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, speaking at a conference held September 13 by the Truth and Liberty Coalition, cast Democrats as the  enemy and called on God to remove ungodly leaders in Washington, D.C. and instead “install righteous men and women of God” who understand that government should be taking orders from the church, and not the other way around. 

“It’s time the church speaks up. The church has relinquished too much authority to government. We should not be taking orders from the government; the government needs to be looking at the church and saying, ‘How do we do this effectively?”

Application by Cindy Ficklin to be D-51 Superintendent raises alarm

Cindy Ficklin (L), an applicant for the job of D-51 School Superintendent, flashes the hand signal of the “Three Percenters” militia while scuba diving in Hawaii. (Photo credit: Facebook). Right photo & caption are from Wikipedia. The Anti-Defamation League lists this gesture as a racist hand sign. [UPDATE 2/20/21]: We have since been informed that in the context of scuba diving, this symbol is used to say a diver is “OK.” That was likely the case in this scenario, although since Mesa County is largely a desert, very right wing politically, has numerous elected officials who have in fact advanced QAnon theories and Trump’s lies about the election, and since few people here scuba dive, many people interpreted this symbol in its political context rather than its scuba diving context.]

Grand Junction real estate agent Cindy Ficklin submitted an application February 10 to become District 51 Superintendent, raising alarm bells among people familiar with her extremist views.

Who is Cindy Ficklin?

Ficklin is a 40-something GOP firebrand known for her extremist right wing views and her outspoken manner.

In a red-meat speech she gave on July 4, 2020 to a mostly un-masked crowd at the “Stand for the Constitution Freedom Rally” in a local park, Ficklin railed against masking and contact tracing — the only tools available to control the Coronavirus. She said that “CDC guidelines for opening schools … are literally formed of human torture and child abuse,” and spread the false narrative that government was forcing vaccines on people. She railed against public health recommendations to “stay home to stay safe” and whipped up anger at community efforts to control the virus, saying “the new normal” we’re all living with is “an attempt to infringe on our civil rights.”

Rick Wagner’s column illustrates problems with conservative thought

Rick Wagner’s column in the October 16, 2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel

In his column in the 10/16/2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel, local lawyer and perennially annoying right-wing political columnist Rick Wagner asks why Proposition CC on the current ballot is identified using double letters. “Have we run through the alphabet once already?” Wagner guesses, apparently attempting to infer something negative about the state ballot. He doesn’t answer the question, and is content to not to find out the real answer.

This demonstrates a common problem with right wing argumentation: They are an incurious bunch and think information doesn’t matter. Don’t know something? Gloss over it, make a joke, make some incorrect innuendo. No one cares, no big deal.

Wagner thinks his readers should just take his word for whatever he says.

Ray Scott deceives constituents by strategically omitting key info from social media post

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott tried to deceive his constituents in a recent Facebook post.

In the post, Scott pointed to a recent Denver Post article about how Colorado’s marijuana tax revenues are being used, and used the benefit of a sharply truncated headline and added an ominously intro to create the perception that the legislature is misusing marijuana funds. About marijuana tax money, Scott wrote, “If you thought it went to schools this will enlighten you”.

Below is Scott’s actual post (forwarded to me by a friend, because Ray Scott blocks me from his Facebook page):

What’s Up With That Pervasive, “Too Much Big Government” Theme?

An example of pictorial anti-government propaganda. Corporations have applied the anti-big-government theme for decades to avoid government regulation.

This column was originally published August 26, 2012. It was revised on 12-30-2016 and again on 11-26-2018 to include some new graphics. It’s explains how Americans came to hate our own government, and is still as true as ever.

We hear it everywhere, all the time, like a mantra.

Candidates, TV pundits and political ads tell us we have “too much big government!” Candidates portray virtually any attempt to regulate or tax any industry as a government intrusion into our lives. Candidates are always for “less government.”

What’s up with this pervasive, anti-government theme? How and why did so many self-professed “patriotic,” flag-waving, red-blooded Americans start hating their own government?

“Government intrusion” is a powerful propaganda theme that has been around for a long time, and it’s an argument big businesses often use to subtly manipulate public opinion. As with so many other corporate-derived propaganda tools, the anti-government theme originated largely with the tobacco industry, which has relied on it for decades to get its way in public policy.

Hate in Grand Junction on full display today at Mesa County Deplorables rally against refugees

People from central America on their thousand-mile foot trek to find a place where they can live in safety with their families. Vicious gang violence has become rampant in some central American countries, forcing families to flee.

An article in today’s Daily Sentinel says Mesa County Deplorables will hold a rally downtown today against the people who make up the “caravan” of central American refugees headed northward on foot towards the U.S. border to escape violence in their home countries. People joined the caravan and have been traveling together to protect themselves against violent attacks while en route to find a safer place to live with their families.

Who are the “Deplorables”?

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman is listed as a member of Mesa County Deplorables

“Deplorables” is a label many of President Trump’s supporters eagerly took on during the 2016 presidential campaign. The social media of “Deplorable” groups around the country depicts the group’s ideology as manifesting broad-brush disrespect towards people from other countries, objectification of women and an emphasis on the way women look rather than on their intellect, abilities or contributions. “Deplorable” ideology reflects feelings of superiority and an outright fear of people who are different physically, racially, sexually and ethnically from people within their own social circles.

Oil and gas front group “Protect Colorado” pumps out frightening hype about Proposition 112

Firestone, CO home explosion from oil and gas lines, April, 2017, which killed two people who were in the house. Proposition 112 seeks to prevent against hazards like this posed by oil and gas operations being too close to homes, schools, playgrounds, hospitals, etc.. (Photo: CBS)

At election time we’re always told the same old thing from wealthy business interests: “Ballot measure X is going to wreck our state! Ballot measure X will crush our businesses and cost hard working Coloradans thousands of jobs! Vote NO on Ballot Measure X!”

Now they’re doing the same thing with Proposition 112.

Club 20 screams like a spoiled toddler and charges $25 to attend it’s debate while Polis attends events that are free and open to everyone

Rep. Jared Polis

At the end of July, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis announced he was going to have to miss Club 20’s September 8 candidate debate. In response Club 20 took on the persona of a spoiled, whiny toddler, quickly issuing a nasty press release (pdf) that screamed Polis had — *gasp!* — snubbed it and was slapping the collective face of the entire western slope because he wouldn’t attend it’s exclusive, must-do event.

Come on, Club 20. Grow up. Polis has something else to do. Check it out:

How the President’s racism affects the western slope

President Donald Trump spent years spreading the racist lie that President Obama was born in Kenya. He’s publicly described Mexicans as rapists, called for a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” said immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS,” used the gang MS-13 to disparage all immigrants and called African countries “shitholes.”

Sad to say, but there are people in our own community who actually believe these things, and worse, and Trump is empowering them to more freely express their racism and xenophobia.

City Council endorses protections and path to citizenship for DACA recipients. G.J. citizens react.

On January 17, 2018, the Grand Junction City Council sent an official letter (above) to Senators Cory Gardner, Michael Bennet and House Representative Scott Tipton urging the House and Senate to pass “a clean bill as soon as possible to prevent the end of DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] in March.”

Republican and “Deplorable” G.J. City Council member Duncan McArthur voted against the letter supporting young DACA recipients in our community

The letter was signed by Mayor J. Merrick (“Rick”) Taggart. City Council approved it on a 5-2 vote. Councilmembers Duncan McArthur and Barbara Traylor-Smith voted against it.

Read the fine print: Republican “tax reform” bill injects religious dogma into the tax code

You don’t typically think of a tax reform bill as a vehicle to push a religious agenda onto the rest of the country, but Trump’s “tax reform” bill does exactly that.

Buried deep inside the Republicans’ proposed “tax reform” bill is a provision conferring rights on “unborn children,” which the bill defines as “a child in utero…a member of the species Homo Sapiens, at any stage of development.” The provision appears on page 93 of the 429-page bill, in a section amending the rules on “529 plans,” which are tax-free investment accounts that allow families to save for a child’s college education. People have long been able to set up 529 plans for children that don’t yet exist, but changing the wording of the law intentionally enshrines recognition of the unborn into federal law, something anti-abortion activists and supporters of fetal “personhood” have long sought to do.

Trump’s tax reform bill is full of tricks

AnneLandmanBlog Voter Guide, 2017

Following are AnneLandmanBlog’s recommendations on how to vote on this November’s Mesa County ballot (pdf). I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching the issues, listening to all the candidates, reading their websites, following the money spent on the ballot issues and researching both pro and con arguments on the tax measures. As a result, I have come to the following conclusions. A discussion of my thoughts on each vote follows the recommendations:

One Day Left to Keep Trump from Getting Your Voting Information

The Trump administration has made a breathtaking and invasive demand to all 50 states demanding they turn over personal information on every individual registered voter in the country. The administration wants names, addresses, birth dates, political party affiliations, records of elections in which people have voted and the last four digits of people’s social security numbers.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, plans to turn the information right over on July 16 without any argument.

But there is one thing you can do to stop the Trump administration from getting your personal information: ask the Mesa County Clerk to make your voter information confidential.

Ray Scott Shocks Constituents with Displays of Poor Grammar, Lack of Knowledge in Social Media Exchanges

Ray Scott

First came this exchange via IPhone, widely shared on Facebook by a Colorado Mesa University biology graduate who specializes in conservation of endangered species. The biologist wrote to Colorado State Senator Ray Scott concerned about his uninformed, overly-simplistic views on energy production and effects global climate change:

Daily Sentinel Threatens CO Sen. Ray Scott with Defamation Lawsuit

Publisher of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

Jay Seaton, publisher of the Grand Junction, Colorado Daily Sentinel, publicly threatened Colorado State Senator Ray Scott with a defamation lawsuit in his editorial column Sunday, February 12, after Scott, in a tweet, charged the Sentinel with publishing “fake news.”

NYT Op Ed by Charles Blow: “No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along”

Recently I’ve heard it said that people who are shocked to the core and utterly dismayed by Trump’s election should just calm down, accept it and start getting along.

But Trump’s election is no normal phenomenon for this country, and to blindly accept it as though it were something normal is to abdicate our collective moral standing as a country.

Charles Blow, a New York Times opinion writer, did an excellent job of explaining why we should not accept Donald Trump’s election as something “normal,” and move on.

Why We Need to Question the Chamber’s “Experts”

Diane Schwenke of the Grand Junction Chamber quotes a statistic by Erc Fruits, a freelance, pay-for-play economic consultant who works out of his home in Portland, Oregon, producing reports that meet the needs of his paymasters

Diane Schwenke of the Grand Junction Chamber quotes a statistic by Eric Fruits, a freelance, pay-for-play economic consultant who works out of his home in Portland, Oregon, producing reports that meet the needs of his paymasters

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is working hard to defeat Amendment 70, which would raise Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 and hour by 2020. Part of its opposition involves chamber president Diane Schwenke running TV ads against the measure in which the chamber claims “90,000 Colorado jobs” would be lost if the measure passes.

Who is “Dr. Fruits”?

The chamber’s “90,000-jobs-lost” figure comes from “Eric Fruits,” of “Economics International Corps.” Fruits is a part time economic consultant who works out of his home and also works part time as an adjunct professor at Portland State University (PSU).

Adjunct professors, also called “contingent professors,” are not tenured. They are typically low-paid, part-time contract workers who rank below “assistant” and “associate” professors. Adjuncts typically don’t receive any health insurance or other benefits through their workplace and are often paid less than pet sitters.

Turnout Low at Trump Junior Event

Photo taken inside the Mahindra Arena at the Mesa County Fairgrounds during the Donald Trump Junior rally shows plenty of empty seats.

Photo taken at the Donald Trump Junior rally inside the Mahindra Arena at the Mesa County Fairgrounds when it was in full swing shows plenty of empty seats.

KKCO reported on tonight’s news that “thousands” of people turned out for Donald Trump Junior’s rally at the Mesa County Fairgrounds this evening, but an observer inside the Mahindra Arena took a photograph of the rally that showed barely over half the seats filled. People inside the scene estimated about 200 people in attendance, a low figure given the county’s large Republican majority. KKCO later revised their estimate on their website to “nearly a thousand” supporters, but according to photographic evidence, they’re still far off the mark. One African American protester who went into the event said he was the only person of color in attendance at the rally, yet in his talk Trump Junior reportedly praised all the “diversity” he said he saw in the crowd at the arena.

Protesters hold signs outside the TrumpJ unior rally

Protesters hold signs outside the Trump Junior rally in Grand Junction