Let's call their lies, big lies
I'd like to share the second edition of my newsletter with you, crafted to look at the effective ways of together fighting for a just, equitable, democratic and sustainable country. It is intended to combat the relentless attacks by the Trump regime and allies on truth itself. The foundations of our democracy, wellbeing of our people and our planet are what's at stake -- and the pretense of thinking that's hyperbole to say plainly is now entirely gone.
Although President Trump may seem mentally unhinged with his wild accusations, we should never dismiss them out of hand. The Trump regime is waging a propaganda and psychological war to reverse decades of progress and solidify Republican facilitated corporate domination. It is critical to understand the goals and methods behind his big lies.
My lead article, “Let’s Call Their Big Lies, Big Lies,” outlines the propaganda war of the Trump regime and its focus on undermining the right to vote for millions. The featured book, Merchants of Doubt, details the decades-long campaigns of corporate funding to promote big lies and sow doubt to block efforts to protect people from the harmful effects of smoking, acid rain, the ozone hole, second hand smoking, DDT and global warming. The Big Lie method is not new.
Please do check out my new website -- it has videos, Powerpoints, articles, resources and a schedule of my current speaking and training events. And I would really appreciate your feedback and suggestions for improvements at any time.
Please pass on this monthly newsletter to anyone concerned about the direction of our country, visit my website to plan events and share ideas, and, if you like this product, please do like my Facebook so I can spread the word there effectively. Now more than ever, we need dynamic solutions for the truth -- which is the foundation for a better future we all deserve. Be the truth-tellers. Expose the Big Lies and Big Liars that threaten us.
Let's call out Trump administration’s big lies
February 20, 2017
We live in dangerous times and it is critical to understand the political and psychological warfare mounted against us in the new age of Trumpian “alternative facts.” This warfare is not new. In 1928, Edward Bernays, the father of modern public relations and author of the historic book Propaganda, wrote:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized
habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in
democratic society…We are governed, our minds ruled, our
tastes shaped, our ideas suggested, largely by men that we have
never heard of.
The Nazis understood the power of propaganda and advanced Bernays’ methods. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, promoted the “Big Lie” theory.
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people
will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained
only for such time as the State can shield the people from the
political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus
becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to
repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie.
Hermann Goering, Hitler’s 2nd in command, tied the Big Lie to the Great Fear of untrustworthy enemies.
It’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and
it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether
it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a
communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always
be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you
have to do is tell them they are being attacked.
Relentless propaganda serves a deeper purpose as expressed by the great modern-day Russian dissident, Garry Kasporov:
The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform
or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to
The formula of mass propaganda to dominate a people is simple, elegant and very dangerous.
Standing Strong With
Familias Unidas Por La Justicia
On March 2nd, I was honored and humbled to conduct a workshop at Western Washington University entitled “Making the American Dream Real for Everyone” with increased focus on immigrant and farm worker justice. It was a fundraiser led by Students for Farm Worker Justice with support from many unions and community groups. We raised more than $9,000 to support Familias Unidas por la Justicia (Families United for Justice), a growing grassroots union of 500 farm workers in northwest Washington. More money is still coming in.
I was moved to tears by the outpouring of solidarity that brought together people of different races, ethnicities, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, faith traditions, and education levels. Last year, Familias won an historic victory by forcing Sukuma Brothers Farms to recognize the union and bargain with a binding agreement that a failure to reach a voluntary agreement would result in binding arbitration for a first contract. In these hard times, many people wonder if we can unite across our many differences to build power to win greater justice and fairness. Familias and its allies are proving we can do it. These lessons of victory and solidarity need to be shared and inspire people across the country.
Here's a shout-out! to the unions who donated:
Whatcom County Firefighters Local 106
Anacortes Firefighters Local 1537
Washington State Conference of Firefighters (IAFF)
Steelworkers Local 12-291
Washington Education Association (two locals)
Labor Democrats Work Group (Skagit County)
NW Washington Central Labor Council
If you want to support Familias, send checks made out to "Community to Community". Put "FOR FUJ" in the subject line at the bottom of the check. Mail them to:
Community to Community
203 West Holly Street Suite 317
Bellingham, WA 98225
El pueblo unidos, jamas sera vencidos!! The people united will never be defeated.
"Winning Big in the Age of Trump: Learning From Our History"
I am delighted to announce that my new workshop “Winning Big in the Age of Trump: Learning from Our History” will be completed and ready for presentation in a few weeks to audiences in various formats – speeches, interactive workshops and trainings. This is not the first time in our nation’s history that we, the people, have faced a hostile President, Congress and court system and relentless attacks on our rights, dignity, economic well-being and a hopeful future.
Previous generations of our families fought through harder times than today and built a better future that many of us inherited. What can we learn from their successes and failures that we can use today to not only resist but fight forward to a better shared future for all of us? In addition, what can we learn from the many successes and failures of our movements today that will help us build a powerful sustainable nation-wide movement that will once again move us toward the light of a better future?
Many of you have sponsored and attended many of my speeches, workshops and trainings over the past 5+ years. More than 160 of your organizations brought me to present my “Making the American Dream Real for Everyone” message. Many more brought me to do other presentations. My work has been received very well and has helped many of you in your efforts to educate and energize others to stand up and get involved. I urge you to bring me to your organizations to present “Winning Big in the Age of Trump: Learning from Our History.” It will educate, energize, inspire and agitate people to take action. Here is a small sample of the “Winning Big” messages across the decades:
In 1902, a famous American political leader and bigot said
Southern European countries were "unburdening themselves
of the more sordid and hapless elements of their population.”
Eastern Europeans "had neither skill nor energy
nor any initiative of quick intelligence.” His
name was Woodrow Wilson, future President of
the United States. He would begin resegregating
the federal government. What can we learn from
the fighters for justice during this time?
In 2015, a famous American political leader and
bigot said: “What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The
Mexican government is forcing their most unwanted people into
the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers,
rapists, etc.” His name was Donald Trump. What will the fighters
for justice do this time?
I believe “an injury to one is an injury to all.” Will you stand up
now and stay standing until we have fairness, dignity and justice
I want to introduce you to The Union Edge, labor's talk radio show from Pittsburgh. In this anti-worker environment broadcasting labor’s message is essential. It’s no secret that the opposition spends millions of dollars every month to propagate anti-union messaging through talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Talk radio is effective, universally accessible and economical.
The Union Edge is the nation’s only nationally syndicated labor talk radio program and has been growing in leaps and bounds, now broadcast on more than 30 stations nationwide. They host international and national labor newscasts hourly (Radio Labour and Workers Independent News), and talk to reporters from Politico and Media Matters daily. But they also have conversations with International Union presidents, locked out workers, political candidates, academics, progressive entrepreneurs and influential authors. And they even feature me as a regular twice-monthly guest, on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 10:30am PST (1:30 pm EST).
I encourage you to tune in to The Union Edge! You can listen live, find your local radio broadcast, download our FREE app for iPhone and Android, or check out past podcasts on our website. If you believe that Labor should get its message out to the public, then please join their sponsorship program at whatever level you can. Find out more at theunionedge.com.
March 22, 2017 | Youngstown, OH
YOUNGSTOWN STATE UNIVERSITY
March 31, 2017 | Los Angeles, CA
PLUMBERS & PIPEFITTERS LOCAL 250
April 1, 2017 | Burbank, CA
PLUMBERS AND PIPEFITTERS LOCAL 761
April 4, 2017 | Everett, WA
SHEET METAL LOCAL 66
April 6, 2017 | Portland, OR
SHEET METAL LOCAL 16
April 11, 2017 | Seattle, WA
EVANS SCHOOL GRADUATE FORUM
April 13, 2017 | Seattle, WA
AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION LOCAL 28
April 15, 2017 | Redmond, WA
LAKE WA. SCHOOL DISTRICT TRADES BARGAINING COALITION
April 20, 2017 | Spokane, WA
IRON WORKERS LOCAL 14
April 22, 2017 | Kent, WA
ELECTRICIANS UNION LOCAL 46
April 27, 2017 | Longview, WA
WASH. STATE BUILDING TRADES
May 3, 2017 | Cle Elum, WA
PACIFIC NW IRON WORKERS REGIONAL COUNCIL
May 18, 2017 | Renton, WA
BOEING BLUEBELLS GROUP
May 24, 2017 | Phoenix, AZ
IBEW, BROADCAST AND TELECOM CONFERENCE
May 26, 2017 | Renton, WA
BOEING BLUEBELLS GROUP
June 1, 2017 | Spokane, WA
WASH. STATE BUILDING TRADES
June 19, 2019 | Portland, OR
SHEET METAL WORKERS LOCAL 16
July 2, 2017 | Seabeck, WA
FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION
July 14, 2017 | Nashville, TN
INTN'L ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS
SOUTHERN TERRITORY CONFERENCE
August 1, 2017 | Seattle, WA
CEMENT MASONS LOCAL 528
November 4, 2017 | Seattle, WA
OFFICE & PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES INTN'L UNION WESTERN EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE
May 23, 2018 | San Francisco, CA
CALIFORNIA PIPE TRADES CONVENTION