Sunday, July 16, 2017

Master of Deception

Speech perception is an ephemeral process. The meaning of a sentence is derived from a string of words by an active, interpretive process. The original sentences we perceive are rapidly forgotten and memory is often only a felt-sense for what they contained. Deception works because this is a highly suggestible process .
1. Deception by felt-sense: Trump announced an executive order that he says: “Restores religious liberty.” However, what the order actually says is:
 “The treasury department will not take action against religious groups (tax them) for making political speeches that do not amount to participation or influence in a political campaign.”
 It’s a double negative that doesn’t change anything. Before religious groups couldn’t make political speeches …now they can as long as they don’t intend to influence the way people think …(?) Sounds to me like they’re still liable. It was never really enforced anyway so what difference does it make? Trump’s statement only sounds significant if you don’t have a copy of the order in front of you. 

2. Deception by no-sense: Trump announced that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will: “Cover more Americans more cheaply.” (He doesn’t say which Americans). However, policy wonks at the Congressional Budget Office were given access to the bill only after Trump’s announcement. Here’s what they found: 
“21 million working class Americans will lose their health insurance.” “People with pre-existing conditions will be priced out of the insurance market.” and “Caps on out-of-pocket expenses for costly treatments will be eliminated for people with employer-sponsored health insurance.” 
The net effect is less coverage at a higher price for most Americans. Trump’s announcement only sounds possible if you don’t have a copy of the bill to refer to. 

3. Deception by pre-supposition:  Trump says: “I fired FBI director Comey because he’s a show-boater, a grand-stander, and the FBI is in turmoil. You know that, I know that, everybody knows that.” Saying “He’s a showboated …” is just an opinion. However, adding “… everybody knows that.” makes it sound like a valid pre-supposition and good reason for a firing … even when it’s not. Trump fired Comey for personal reasons that were not based on his performance as FBI director.

4. Deception by public record: On his termination letter to FBI director Comey, Trump wrote: “I appreciate that, on three separate occasions, you told me I was not under investigation.” There’s no record of Comey ever saying that …and it’s not FBI policy to inform subjects when they’re under investigation. Trump however made it sound factual by making it a matter of public record.

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