How Public Manipulation Works

Massaging the public message is what useful idiots are tasked to do. Their job is to create illusions of reality in support of official propaganda to give the impression that the lie is the truth. I once heard someone say that there are two truths; the truth and the perception of the truth. I am sure you have also heard the phrase; if you tell a lie long enough it becomes the truth. This is how public perception manipulation, or propaganda works.

What follows is a recent step-by-step case study.

Some of you will remember that on the day the city was ordered to allow the depositions for Susie Byrd, Cortney Niland, Steve Ortega and Joyce Wilson to move forward; that evening the city issued a terse “gotcha-type” press release pointing out a factual error by Bill Aleshire. For the rest of you this will be the first time you read about the three letters and the city’s press release that I will be discussing here because the local news media has once again been negligent.

In the press release, the city states that at the “hearing, Alshire [sic], using Allala’s affidavit, misrepresented the facts and complained about missing attachments to emails produced in October 2012”. The press release goes on to state; “The Travis County District Court was to have considered the City’s Plea to the Jurisdiction today seeking to dismiss the open records lawsuit as the City Council requested.”

Take a look at how the city is attempting to create the illusion that they are just trying to do as asked by city council and that it is Bill Aleshire and Stephanie Townsend Allala that are messing up the process.

The city states a fact, that Aleshire “misrepresented facts”. The city goes on by trying to tie that singular event as the defining moment as the basis for the Court’s decision. In fact the city writes in its press release; “Based on the affirmative misrepresentations by Alshire [sic] that the City was not in compliance with its obligations under the Act and the allegedly missing attachments, the Court decided to defer ruling on the City’s request to dismiss to give the parties the opportunity to ensure whether that the City had satisfied its obligations in response to Allala’s requests.”

Notice what the city is stating here to the public? It is stating that the reason the Judge ruled that the lawsuit should not be dismissed at this point is because the judge relied on the “misrepresentations” to the Court by Aleshire.

In fact, the city closes its press release by stating that the “discovery of Mr. Alshire’s email, reaffirmed that the City has met its obligations under the TPIA and provided all of the documents requested”.

The city attorney’s office is attempting to create two illusions here. The first illusion is that Townsend Allala’s attorney lied to the Court and that is the reason the Court ruled that the lawsuit should not be dismissed.

The second illusion is one the city has been promoting for a while since the Oscar Leeser administration told the city attorney that it needs to bring this lawsuit to a close as quickly as possible and that the emails should be released. The city wants the public to believe that it has released all of the emails and that it has complied with the open records laws.

Fortunately for the community and unfortunately for the city, the local news media missed the press release and did not report on it the day the judgment was handed down. The city attorney’s office was hoping that instead of headlines reading “former officials ordered to depositions” the headlines, instead would have read, “attorney lied to court”.

However, those creating propaganda cannot give up because the truth is what they are trying to hide. Therefore when the news media failed to pick up on the press release they waited for a useful idiot to bring it up hoping it gets virtual legs for traction.

Enter the city’s useful idiot David Karlsruher.

Now before anyone starts to cry that I’m picking on David Karlsruher, he unfortunately for himself makes it way too easy for me. It’s his actions that I’m criticizing here.

When the city’s September 30, 2013 press release failed to get traction, David Karlsruher posts a blog post two days later, on October 2, 2013. The post is titled; “Was someone loose with the truth in front of a judge in Austin?”

As a point of interest to the discussion at hand you will remember that two weeks ago I wrote about a city contract that Karlsruher’s parent’s company was scheduled to be awarded. In the article; “Coincidence, or Maybe Not: Follow up on Karlsruher“, David wrote in the comments section of my blog that his parent’s company was not going to be awarded the contract. At this point we do not know what will happen, however the contract is on tomorrow’s agenda with the Karlsruher company listed as the apparent winner of the bid process. I don’t know if this is nothing more than a coincidence but circumstantial evidence is often times a part of a larger puzzle of the complete body of the evidence collected.

On an October 4 update to his blog, according to David Karlsruher, Bill Aleshire had contacted Karlsruher and as a result of that contact David updated his blog post to remove items that were defamatory to Aleshire. You will remember that David Karlsruher was already sued once and lost for defamation. You can read about his public apology in “Blogging and Personal Responsibility; Flights of fancy should be ignored“.

Even with the changed version you can see how the attempt to distort the public’s understanding is done.

Karlsruher wrote, after pointing out Aleshire’s inadvertent mistake, that “Alshire [sic] … got a favorable ruling (but not really)”. Karlsruher goes on to blame the city’s attorney as well by writing that the city attorneys “didn’t have his or her shit together at the hearing to combat what is now proved to be an erroneous claim by Alshire [sic].” {Side note, I wish both the city and Karlsruher bothered to check how Aleshire is spelled so that I wouldn’t have to keep adding [sic] to their quotes.} Attacking the city attorneys is just one way to distract from the truth, and keep in mind that many people blame the city attorneys for this fiasco so they are perfect patsies for David.

Karlsruher also attempts to create the impression that the exclusion of the attachments is the key to everything. By doing so it feeds the city’s attempt to create the illusion that the court’s ruling was based on a lie.

David goes on to add that he’s not sure what will happen next because “unlike the anti-ballpark crowd” he is not privy to “executive session discussion (because I’m not supposed to be)” to add to the fiction that he has been developing through various posts that the ballpark proponents are being fed illegal information from someone at city council from within the executive sessions.

David Karlsruher has alluded to this various times and has tried to blame it on Emma Acosta. This is a classic strategy. Weaken your opponents with attacks about illegal activities even though he has nothing to back it up with. Attaching the stigma of illegality makes anyone associated with forcing the former city representatives to comply with the open records laws as doing it for nefarious purposes. It doesn’t matter that it is a lie. By associating criminality it allows for division among the different factions challenging government action. This is a classic divide and conquer strategy. Remember that to create the illusion only requires just the right amounts of truth to make the lie plausible.

This works on the human nature of not critically questioning what is delivered to people.

Also, it is important to keep in mind that it is not just David Karlsruher that is being used to create community disinformation. Remember the Texas Tribune article alleging that Stephanie Townsend Allala was running for office? You can read more about how disinformation is propped up by manipulating other news outlets in “How Useful Idiots Manipulate Public Perception: Case Study David Karlsruher and MaxPowers“. That article was nothing more than an attempt to add to the illusion that they are trying to create that Stephanie’s quest for government transparency is a disreputable one.

Now going back to David Karlsruher, look at what he writes next. David writes that he “asked an attorney”. In fact, David Karlsruher writes many times on his blog that he consults attorneys or that attorneys are always offering him advice. Unfortunately for him many of his “legal” assertions are nothing more that concepts he himself develops with no legal basis to them.

I obviously can’t prove it but I personally believe that his “attorneys” are made up in his own mind or are casual friends that give him little pieces of information that he then takes from them what he wants and uses it. I really do not believe that every time he mentions an attorney that an attorney was actually consulted.

Regardless, the use of the word “attorney” is designed to create the illusion that David Karlsruher has a foundation from which to write what he asserts. It is an attempt to give himself credibility.

One way to tell when people are being disingenuous with you or outright lying is to notice how their assertions lack specificity. David asserts on his blog that Stephanie and Bill Aleshire are claiming in Austin “that a single attachment is what is left to get from the city” and that in El Paso “they claim it’s much more”.

He then adds; “Could they be sued for that? I don’t know, but I’m sure they’re going to find out.”

First notice the lack of specificity with the allegation that Aleshire and Townsend Allala are sending out mixed messages? Not once, does David bother to point the reader to the sources for his allegation. He just throws it out. He also tries to create the impression, once again, that both are likely to be sued adding to the notion he is attempting to create that they are acting nefariously.

However he is not done yet.

David Karlsruher adds; “How many times has Allala crowd been embarrassed in court and caught in lies?” Again no specificity and words designed to further the agenda that the quest for emails is wrapped in illegality. Which it is not, but the truth is not what the propagandists want you to remember. They want you to remember the illusions they are trying to create.

If it was just David Karlsruher then the illusion would have no opportunity to become the public’s perception. As some of my critics have pointed out, a blog is hardly the single platform for manipulating the community. What a blog is; is just one tool in an arsenal of tools used by the public perception manipulators.

I realize this article is long but I need to be able to tie all of the pieces together so that you can better understand how the con job works.

As a blog is just one of the many pieces of the puzzle it needs propping items to sustain it. That’s where the comments come in. Look at David’s comment section and you will notice a common thread. Many are by anonymous posters. There is a reason for that.

One of the techniques used by bloggers is “seeding” comments by self-adding comments to give the appearance of activity. One of the things that gives away a seeded comment on a blog is the back and forth between an apparent antagonizer and the blogger. Also take notice how the individuals that use their actual names are individuals working with David towards a common goal.

Although some of the commentators seem to be anti-David and some may be from actual unique individuals the fact is that the comment section is designed to prop the message being put out and to create the illusion that many are disseminating the message into the community. Without access to David’s logs it is hard to quantify the actual reach he has, however it is not about the actual numbers but the illusions of the traffic that feeds the propaganda.

Additionally, the public perception manipulation needs several more pieces to work and in order for you to understand the process I need to dissect them further. Hang in there, I promise that it is worth the long read.

As you already know, Bill Aleshire made a mistake and provided information erroneously. In order to correct the record he sent a letter to the court as soon as he was made aware of his error.

In his October 1, 2013 letter, Aleshire writes that he made a statement “in argument and in our pleading that is not entirely accurate and complete”. Providing specificity Aleshire details the steps that led to the mistake. I won’t bore you with the details. Bill Aleshire obviously apologizes to the court for the omission. And he adds that he doesn’t believe the “error (or Mr. Denton’s error [attorney representing the city]) undermines the Court’s decision”.

Aleshire was stating that the error does not make a difference in the Court’s ruling that the depositions can proceed.

In response, the city’s third-party attorneys; Denton, Navarro, Rocha & Bernal coincidently being paid with tax dollars, wrote that they were letting the court know that they were “continuing their efforts to comply with the Attorney General’s determination in this case, to the complete extent of the City of El Paso’s ability to accomplish that”.

Notice the word play here. The city attorneys are acknowledging that they’ve been directed to comply with the release of the records as opined by the Texas Attorney General and ordered to by city council. However they add to the illusion that the city has been trying to manufacture – that the city cannot go get the records from Steve Ortega because he refuses to give them to the city. Of course they assert that the lawsuit should be dismissed because since they have “complied” the issue is now moot.

It is important to remember that the city, through its press release, alluded to the notion that had it not been for the fact that Aleshire had misrepresented the facts Judge Orlinda L. Naranjo would have dismissed the case as the city wanted.

So what does the judge have to say about that notion?

On October 3, 2013, Judge Naranjo sent a letter to both lawyers. In the letter, the judge acknowledges that it has received both letters I referenced above. The judge writes that it is “in agreement with Mr. Aleshire’ that the new information does not affect the rulings it made” at the hearing. [emphasis added]

The judge has stated that she would have made the same ruling regardless of the omission.

On Friday, October 4, 2013 I was copied in an email sent to various individuals including the following members of the news media: David Crowder, Brenda de Anda-Swann, Aaron Bracamontes, Elizabeth O’Hara Williams, Cindy Ramirez and Marty Schladen.

News Media Complicity and Malfeasance

I have written numerous blog posts about the news media’s malfeasance to the community and its complicity with the perception manipulators. I am usually challenged to provide evidence of this. To add to my previous evidence, let’s take each individual individually.

Remember that each of the following were sent an email with the three legal letters attached last Friday.

Brenda de Anda-Swann is the news director at KVIA.

Aaron Bracamontes, Cindy Ramirez and Marty Schladen are El Paso Times reporters.

David Crowder is a former El Paso Times reporter and now an El Paso Inc. reporter with many years of experience in city politics.

Elizabeth O’Hara Williams is the news director at KFOX TV.

As of Sunday, October 6, 2013 I could find no reference that any of these news outlets reported the content of any of these three letters.

Think about that for a moment. Each of these news outlets had access to the underlining information about the email issue. The issue relates directly to the basis that the news media proclaims themselves as the protectors of Democracy. And each outlet and every news professional that I have mentioned above at one time, if not many times have relied on open records to write about news items. And let’s not forget that the ongoing email saga involves city politics, taxpayer monies and access to public information.

The letters provided three sides to the news item. And more importantly this is timely information with a stale date built in. I would argue that each of those elements makes the three letters imperative for the news media to report on.

Yet, not one bothered to write about, or direct an underling to report to you, their audience about these three letters.

In the case of Crowder, I will allow him a little bit of leeway as his publication is a weekly and he may have been limited by a hard deadline. However, an investigative reporter would chase a story and not wait for it to be delivered to him. The information I am referencing was available before Friday.

As for the rest of the news media, the only thing that can be used to describe their not reporting this news is nothing more than malfeasance.

I know what you are thinking, but doesn’t this undermine your argument that the propagandists use the media to create the illusions you are saying they do?

Although the news media did not report this information as they should have, the manipulators had no way of knowing that all of the news media was too incompetent to do their bidding, therefore they are probably as upset as I am, but for a different reason.

However, had the news media led with the city’s posture the propaganda would have had a stronger base from which to continue rising. On the other hand, had the news media done its job the propaganda would still have worked because the news media would have reported the other side of the argument, as it should have.

Many people are brought up on the notion that “authority” can do no wrong. Even many more do not have critical thinking skills needed to question community perception. The city’s propaganda would have spread further continuing to trickle down through the community.

Just because the media did not play along does not mean the work was not useful to the manipulators.

Remember the adage; tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth? They have to tell the lie, in this case two lies; the depositions are a witch hunt and the search for government transparency is a nefarious one, in order for the lie to become the truth.

Also, posting the city’s press release online as well as David Karlsruher’s online blog along with the comments feeds the search engine optimization (SEO) algorithms that feed the Google search results that many use to get their news from when they want a quick recap of the latest event.

At the same time, news is disseminated across a community by word of mouth through daily interactions. Water cooler talk starts the process and by the time the message is passed from one source to another it changes. Someone says; “this is what I heard” and another chimes in with “isn’t so-and-so running for office” and you see how the propaganda eventually becomes the truth.

Many of you feel that calling David Karlsruher and others a “useful idiot” diminishes my argument however my argument is based on my thesis that what is happening in El Paso is nothing more than a public agenda faction taking over public policy using voting blocks and public perception manipulation to gain and keep control. There are many individual components that come together to keep the con in process.

However they did not invent the process, they are using a time honored process used by the Soviet’s in the eighty’s against the United States. Back then, the useful idiots were the US communists that served the propaganda purposes of the politburo. These techniques are not unique nor are they new. They are just being effectively leveraged in El Paso today by a faction who has a public agenda policy they wish to implement. Like their Soviet teachers they did not always get it perfectly right and each piece of the puzzle, however small or insignificant, was and is significant for the illusion to continue to manifest in the community. Make no mistake, it may look like this attempt failed but in fact it was just a small piece of a much larger puzzle.