If you are a devotee of time travel...

Monday, August 6, 2007

ABC's Abuse of American Electorate to Be Included in my Curriculum This Fall

I'm sorry to see that ABC News is continuing to abuse the American electorate by not reporting the results of its own poll about who won the ABC Republican debate yesterday morning.

The results of the poll had Ron Paul leading with 18,284 votes, followed by Mitt Romney with 2881, Rudolf Giuliani with 2462, and Mike Huckabee with 1902 (with two "Nobody - I'm waiting for Thompson or Gingrich, or, I'm voting Democratic" in between).

And yet, in ABC's 8-minute "Green Room" analysis after the debate, no mention was made of Ron Paul, even though the moderator specifically mentioned Huckabee coming in 4th in the poll.

What, exactly, is ABC's problem? If they think Ron Paul's supporters are "gaming" the Internet poll, why don't they fix it? Or don't conduct a poll if you lack such confidence in its results that you do not report its results accurately.

This is not first time ABC has acted against the interests of our democracy in the aftermath of its polls. In May, ABC removed comments from Ron Paul's supporters in a discussion of a poll back then in which Ron Paul scored more than 9000 of 11,000 votes.

As I made clear in my letter to ABC about this in May (see below), I'm not even necessarily a Ron Paul supporter (the last and only time I voted for any Republican was for John Lindsay for Mayor of New York City in 1969). But this mistreatment of Ron Paul's candidacy and therefore the American people has got to stop.

As a way of trying to get word out about what ABC News is doing, I'll be adding a section about this in my "Intro to Communication and Media Studies" class that I'll be teaching at Fordham University this Fall. My 120 students, and all the American people, need to know about this.

Paul Levinson, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Communication and Media Studies
Fordham University
New York City

my open letter to ABC in May ...

Open Letter to ABC.com: Did You Remove Comments from Ron Paul Supporters, and If So, Why? - May 9, 2007

Ron Paul is not doing very well in official, scientifically conducted public opinion polls. But he came in first in the quick response poll MSNBC conducted after the Republican Presidential debate last week, and scored 9,400 of 11,000 votes in the poll ABC conducted after the debate.

These kinds of spurts are familiar to anyone who follows online polling. A well organized campaign can easily produce thousands of votes, whether by real people voting or "sock puppets" (people using more than one account to register their votes).

But something else may have happened in ABC's handling of this poll. Stories on Digg and Reddit are claiming that ABC went in and removed numerous comments on its ABC.com web site from Ron Paul's supporters.

If this is true, the only justification ABC could have for doing that would be if they have proof positive that the comments were bogus - all or most originating from the same IP or same small group of IP addresses, for example.

Otherwise, ABC.com is guilty of an outrageous, heavy-handed administration of its comment section - so much so that, if the charges are true, ABC owes not only Ron Paul's supporters but the American people an explanation.

I hereby call upon ABC to explain exactly what happened with those comments - if they were indeed removed, why?

Although I support Ron Paul's support of our Constitution, I am not part of his campaign, and indeed have not yet decided whom I will vote for in the general election. Indeed, I'll be voting in the Democratic not Republican primary in New York State.

So I call upon ABC not as a political partisan, but as a citizen and as a Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City.

ABC - what's going on with Ron Paul? Did you remove comments from his supporters - and, if so, why?

See also -

More ABC News Distortion to be Included in My Curriculum

and David Wiltse's Sedition: The Play and the Professor

and Newspaper Coverage of Ron Paul in Iowa: B+

and Ron Paul Has Company: Now ABC Crops Out Kucinich, Buries Poll



dawn said...

I have not heard of this man but it does not surprise me. I am glad there are people like you that inform the public. On another note did you read the article about the NYC principle supporting a shirt that say"Intifada NYC" She is also the head of a new 6-12 public school of a new controversal Arabic school named Khalil Gibran International Academy which is supposed to teach a biased view of Middle Eastern History. What is your opinion, the school is under controversy because of church and state. It scares the crap out of me that we would allow a school like this on a public level.

Diane Greene said...

Did ABC ever answer your letter?

Mike said...

If anyone wants to ask ABC why they failed to mention who won the poll, you can email ABC's This Week at the address:


Anonymous said...

A big problem with our electoral process is that the old media generally supports the candidates with the most money. Those are the worst candidates because they are owned by special interest and lobbyists.

Dr. Ron Paul is the only major candidate not owned by military-industrial-complex, corporations, special interest, lobbyists, etc. Fix the system and vote Ron Paul. And tell everyone you know. Now is the time to set ourselves free.

Ron Paul places 1st or 2nd in every straw poll, debate, and active participation survey. Including this ABC debate!

Do not listen to the so called 'Scientific Polls'. Ron Paul is not included in the cleverly woven questions pollsters are asking. This has been well documented.

Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were doing about the same in the 'Scientific Polls' at this stage in their elections. 'Scientific Polls' at this stage only measure name recognition. Over the next six months Ron Paul will gain name recognition. Most people who learn about Ron Paul become major supporters.

Ron Paul is 1st on YouTube, Meetup, MySpace, Technorati, Alexa, Clickz, Google, etc. The old media is just too slow to realize what is happening.

Dr. Ron Paul has the most contributions from U.S. military personnel and veterans above all other candidates. So support the troops and vote Ron Paul!

Ron Paul is the candidate of the people and champion of the Constitution. He is the man of integrity and courage that America needs at this time.

Visit YouTube and search Ron Paul to learn more...

Join the Revolution -- Vote Ron Paul!

Anonymous said...

Good going, Paul. You can teach it in the same lesson where you explain how Pravda used to publish articles about Swedes risking their lives to swim across the Baltic to live in that land of milk and honey, the U.S.S.R.

Comes from the same playbook.

Paul Levinson said...

Dawn - thanks. I don't any public school should endorse any religion or specific political point of view - certainly not Intifada!

Tex - not a peep. In retrospect, I should have printed out the e-mail, and sent it to ABC certified.

Mike: good idea!

Ben - good points!

anon: Thanks. And ha - you're completely right. Our old media are so running scared of new media, that they are daily becoming more and more like the media in the Soviet Union. Edward R. Murrow would be furious and heartbroken to see what's become of mainstream television and its political "reporting".

Anonymous said...

Thank you professor for standing up to this injustice by our media. It is one of the many things wrong with our system and we need to stand up and call it out when we see it.

Clinton Johnson

Anonymous said...

ABC claimed "technical difficulties" for the deletion of hundreds of pro-Ron Paul comments.

To their credit, they at least have had Ron Paul on the air for a few minutes -- CBS and NBC have not shown him at all.

Why don't the sponsoring networks pick a 100-person panel of undecided voters before each debate, and let them vote on who won? Wouldn't that be better than an open poll, where everyone simply votes for the candidate they like the best?

Paul Levinson said...

anon 1: You can count on my continued focus on this issue.

anon 2: That's a good idea. Part of the problem here is that old media tend to be resistant to new ideas. (That's why CNN deserves lots of credit for the YouTube debates). And when that resistance is combined with arrogance - the media know best - you get our current situation. But, like you, I believe there's hope for change.

Anonymous said...

It's a sytemic problem thats undermining the entire American culture. America is showing allot of the symptoms of NPD ,At least five of the following are necessary for a diagnosis (as with many DSM diagnoses, they must form a pervasive pattern; for example, a person who shows these criteria only in one or two relationships or situations would not properly be diagnosed with NPD):

1.has a grandiose sense of self-importance
2.is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3.believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by other special people
4.requires excessive admiration
strong sense of entitlement
takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
5.lacks empathy
6.is often envious or believes others are envious of him or her
7.arrogant affect.

I come from Australia and have been to the US on more than 50 occassions over the last 30 years. I visit many other countries as well.

No only would Ed Murrow be disappointed but I think that entire generation would be.

It will only be fixed when it all comes crashing down and American have no other choice but to see themselves as just like all the rest of us.

The media arent the problem its the people, speaking to as many Americans as I do there is a meglomania apparent . The country which is the source of most of the arms in the world actually sees itself as the land of liberty and virtue.

America as a country is sick, delusional and extremely dangerous.

Eventually it will collapse and unfortunately thats the best thing to happen for everyone, its only after this that the truth emerge.

Ron Paul is a through back he seems so different becuase he has actually got values most of the rest of them (like folks in general these days) are opportunists.

The times will change they always do.


Paul Levinson said...

Thanks for the analysis from Australia, anon, but it's mostly lame and a little paranoid.

With any luck, American won't come crashing down, but will recover its respect for the Constitution and freedom and continue to be the bright light of democracy in the world, as it has been for most of its existence.

Anonymous said...

I think we can put that reply under (4). Its almost Jungian shadow stuff conceptually , step back a bit and set aside the rampant nationalism for a second and look at it through a foreigners eyes. It probably a good exercise for one of your classes and a good exercise for every American (and every Australian for that matter). The problem is you folks no longer see what you�ve become . America is no longer the leader of the free world, its not longer an example the rest of the world should want to follow. Its basically a rogue super state willing to do anything and everything to achieve its own ends. It is isn�t even a good example of democracy, politicians no longer represent the people they represent corporations and lobby groups.

I am probably better read than about the founding fathers and American history than most Americans and I my comments we meant seriously and not as a slur against the country.
A little bit of suffering brings learning , the Spanish when they discover Latin American gold got lazy and stopped working, during that time the Dutch worked out how to produce things so they could earn the Spanish gold, similarly Bernanke�s and Greenspan�s monetary policies are extremely experimental (very few people realize this) they believe you can stop the business cycles by using fiat monetary injections . Other countries wishing to earn the US dollars are learning how to produce things while Americans get fat and lazy earning a living through speculation .

The infrastructure is in decay, the debt is out of control, the relations with the rest of the world is at an all time low, the government no longer functions efficiently , you folks have forgotten how to produce things and you run a trade deficit that�s supported by debt.


Paul Levinson said...

Thanks, again, for your analysis and your world view. I wouldn't, however, put my reply under your "4" (excessive admiration, sense of entitlement for America, etc).

There's nothing excessive in recognizing America beat the Nazis in WWII and the Soviet Union in the Cold War - 2 totalitarian states. Nor am I saying I or America is "entitled" to anything.

So, again, enjoy your analysis and your America-bashing. And I'll continue my assessment of your analysis as having little to do with the facts, and a lot to do with your projections.

Paul Levinson said...

I would also add that I think you're confusing the Bush administration with America. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000, is highly unpopular now, and in no sense represents what Amierica was and really is.

Bush's administration is the source of much the world's view of America today.

But Ron Paul would certainly be a vastly better President than Bush - and so would some of the other candidates, in varying degrees.

Almost any new administration will start bringing American back on course. It's just a question of how effectively, quickly, and completely this will happen.

Anonymous said...

@ dawn

Your view of it being biased, is in fact, biased as well.

Unknown said...

I think it's absolutely essential that people who support Ron Paul tell their friends and family about him and provide them links to YouTube videos and articles about him. If the mainstream media refuses to cover Ron Paul, inform the public yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hate to say it, but I agree with the Australian. Bush is just the foul fruit of a corrupt society.

And hey, I'm actually part of that society, and have been my whole life. I also agree with the comment that things will change. I just fear the process of change when the sheeple here truly wake up. It will likely be horrendous, look at what happened in CW1.

I can pinpoint when my eyes were first opened to this also - it was back around 1995 or 1996 in the hazy afterglow of the USSR's disintegration - it seemed to be somewhat fashionable at the time to openly and publicly declare on TV news shows that the USA was the defacto ruler of the world. "World leader" and American president were breathlessly mentioned together in overarching statements about America's role as the world's police (whether they wanted it or not). I couldn't believe they would say these things on the news, it's like "hey we're the only superpower left - we rule ... literally".

That's when I knew the America I was raised to believe in either never existed or certainly no longer did exist. And that was confirmed the moment I heard the singularly worst leader this nation has had tell people to go shopping after 9/11. We can't let the terrorists win, hit the mall and have a milkshake.

Ron Paul seems really sincere and he's one of the only republicans I would ever vote for. He's one of the very few politicians of any party I think has sense and is honest. Some of his ideas scare me - I'm not a full-on libertarian, but I feel like I could disagree with him and still respect him. I feel like he has the interest of all of us in mind as a leader, not a blood-sucking powermonger.

>>America as a country is sick, delusional and extremely dangerous.

True to some degree, but remember that America is also full of good, honest people who believe strongly in the true ideals of our nation.

We all as individuals and as societies have our dark moments in time. Well ours is just getting into full swing, let's just hope it doesn't last too much longer. But it will probably get a whole lot worse.

Anonymous said...

Paul, thank you for your post, I am very pleased to see that there are people like you in america who realise the extent to whitch the media are manipulating the public. Unfortunately it is not just the media in the states. It is the education system as well and the general opinions that are internalized as 'normal' in the u.s and the general fear of sounding 'unpatriotic' (which is a big no no). Even people like you who realize things up to an extent are completely unaware of how phrases like ..(america will)..'continue to be the bright light of democracy in the world, as it has been for most of its existence.. just show how influenced even the brightest and most resistant of americans are by the daily propaganda and pressure to be patriotic.
This is not an attack on you Paul, I very much appreciate your post and think it is great that there are people like you out there.
Please forgive my spelling and grammar, english is not my first language.

Paul Levinson said...

Dom: Everyone is biased, but some are more biased than others.

John: I disagree. Anyone who's interested in Ron Paul (or any candidate) can easily search for video clips on YouTube. Waiting to be served is not the way to go.

Anon: Well, I still disagree. All you need to do is consider the difference between Bush and Gore to see how much of divergence Bush is (can you imagine Bush writingt a book or making a movie?)

Paul Levinson said...

Philip - thanks for the kind words ...

and, I have no problem with your spelling ...

but I do with your analysis: no one of course is immune to propaganda, but my views about the United States are based on facts and analysis ... the example I gave about the US stopping the Nazis in WWII - to cite just one - is just fact, reality, not propaganda or spin...

Of course, when I say I expect America will continue to be a "bright light" that's prediction not fact - but it's clearly presented as a prediction, which can be assessed and evaluated, and therefore is not really propaganda, either...

But I do really appreciate your thoughtful comment, and hope you will continue to read and comment here...

Anonymous said...

ABC Iowa Republican Presidential Debate. You know the one. The one that claimed to be based around video submissions by people like you and me. The one that got everyone thinking that the top rated videos would be used? The one where it was reported that ABC News George Stephanopoulos would use the questions.

Well, they didn't do that.

ABC committed the most brazen act of video content fraud I've ever seen. They promoted this debate as driven by video questions submitted, then had people upload videos, set up a system to rank videos, then showed those videos in some order that in itself was questionable.
I submitted a video was ranked 4th place,ABC only picked 1 videos -- not top-ranked. I have proof! This video :

I email you on youtube now people are very supportive!

The version I upload will be a shorter version to the point.
ABC owes American an appology for this outrage in getting the vlogging community all worked up over nothing.

TODAY - ABC is lying about the POLL asking which candidate did the best ...

The poll was overwhelmed by Ron Paul supporters, but ABC said it was Mitt Romney; That's a straight out lie.

see my parters here as well :

ABC Debates: ABC Vlogger Fraud- "Vloggercott" ABC


& here:

2008 Presidential Election: ABC
ebate Mistakes


Alo ABC They actually deleted all the media I and now I & other can't upload anything they blocke u!.
I have scree shots of it! Too ba 4 them! They know we know!

The Truth ABC=fraud & George Stephanopoulos Lied

Anonymous said...

Hey, Paul Levinson, where do you get your history books? The US didn't stop the Nazis. It was a World War rememeber? And as far as I remember, that war wasn't "US vs World"...
And you forgot to mention that you also stopped the Vietnamese and the Iraquies... Hooo wait...
The only place where you Americans are great is in your own head. Get off your high horse. Have you ever been outside the US?

Anonymous said...

"...continue to be the bright light of democracy in the world..."

LOOOOOOOOOOL What a joker! Thanks for the laugh! This is Jay Leno material guys!

Godwhacker said...

Hi Paul,
Thank you for giving this matter the serious attention it deserves.

I'd like to point out three things that clearly show that Ron Paul supporters are not "gaming the system".

First check out this YouTube video of the actual scene outside Sunday's debate vs. ABC's coverage.

Next here is a virtual Ron Paul rally

Lastly here is a map of Ron Paul meet-up groups, listing 671 groups in all 50 states with of 30,000 members, more than enough to account for Ron's victory in these on line polls.

The only ones skewing the system are the mainstream media in an ongoing attempt to dismiss and marginalize Paul's wide and growing support base.

Scott Pearson said...

Dr. Levinson,

Great article. You should be happy to be attracting so much attention from Australia and elsewhere, even if it is a bit "over the top" sometimes.

Surely, it's ok for an American to believe that our nation is not patently evil and that we must self-destruct. I think so, right? No, I guess not, if our Australian friend gets his/her way.

Any intelligent source would continue, as you do, to criticize those areas where we need to correct and fix our problems without becoming suicidal. Yes, America DOES have a heritage of greatness (among some rather embarrassing moments of infamy). There's nothing wrong with championing the good things that have been done in a society. No one in America imagines that we are the only nation with good points. However, our Australian friend needs to come to grips with reality. Suicide is not on the national agenda. This is precisely why the George Bush agenda is on the way out.

I wonder if our anonymous Australian friend has ever actually been TO America, or if they just love to hate us. It seems so irrational.

Paul Levinson said...

anon - where do I get my history from? :) ... well, let's see, last time I checked, the Nazis conquered Europe, England and the Soviet Union were barely holding on, and then the US entered the war ... I'm afriad it's your history that's off...

delusion - I'm glad you find this so funny - I like bringing joy to people's lives ... meanwhile, however, your laughter has no resemblance to a rational argument...

earlier anon & godw: thanks for the posts and the links

Scott: Excellent analysis - I agree 100% - thanks!

Anonymous said...


I'm so glad I happened upon your blog. I am always pleased when a blogger responds to their comments.

I wanted to address some of the arguments non-supporters of Ron Paul bring up for the cause of this phenomenon -- the most convincing of which (which isn't very convincing at all) is that Dr. Paul supporters are spamming the polls giving erroneous results. Though I have not been able to track it down yet, somewhere (supposedly) there was a study done in which internet polls which had nothing to do with the election returned results favoring Ron Paul.

1 Yard = 3 Feet
[Ron Paul]

Again, I haven't found this study, but I also believe that there are those of us who would vote "Ron Paul" on the above example despite "true" being the correct answer. Furthermore, many people tend to prefer a non-sequiter answer when given the choice in a test or poll.

What I'd like to do is create a poll with several interesting questions; some political questions that could conceivably have "Ron Paul" as an answer and several that could not. Then I will hide half of the questions in the code. This is usually done to keep spam bots from entering erroneous answers. If a hidden question is answered, only a bot could have filled in the blank. I predict that Ron Paul will take the lead in all questions -- hidden and visible, in both questions where he is viable answer and questions where he is a ridiculous answer. Hopefully, if we subtract the number of hidden votes he gets from hidden questions (which should be equal for all hidden questions), from visible questions, Ron Paul will still lead the polls.

The problem is that to get good results the poll will need to be on a high traffic website... Are you interested?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure you don't have a PhD in either history or politics, cause you are clueless in both subjects.

But nothing that a little reading won't help!

US won World War II?


Regarding the US being "the bright light of democracy in the world"... Well the US has one of the worst excuses for a democracy of all western nations. Only 2 parties, you must be rich to become president and sell yourself for some corporate donations, lobbies, re-counts, high abstention, patriot act, echelon, generalized spying, trigger happy lawsuits, Guantanamo, flying prisoners to Eastern Europe, CIA trying to kill foreign heads-of-state, biased media, need I go on? And last but not the least, you've elected such democracy bastions as Bush. The US "glory" has been bought with borrowed money, which is ok cause credit is "the american way". Eventually the Chinese and the Japanese will want to collect. But don't worry, your grandkids will have to pay, not you!

By the way, I worked in the Silicon Valley for 2 years. It was ok, but I didn't enjoy being the smartest guy in the room wherever I went!

"delusion of greatness"? bullseye!

Paul Levinson said...

European - read my book, The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution - if you'd like be informed about what I know about history.

My PhD, from New York University, was about the history and evolution of communications - which entails a lot of social and political history...

Lastly - what relevance does your working in Silicon Valley have to this? I worked in an ice cream parlour on the Grand Concourse back in the 1960s, in case you're interested... :)

Paul Levinson said...

Clint - great idea - I'm definitely interested.

You'd need to design all the code - certainly all html works here on blogspot.

Email me at Levinson.paul at gmail.com and we can discuss.

But, yes, this could be very worthwhile.

Anthony, VoteWriteIn.com Founder said...

Thank you Dr. Levinson for your much-needed media clout in this matter. As an American, this type of media bias is downright appalling. *Tips hat*

Paul Levinson said...

You're very welcome!

Anonymous said...

I thought you would understand why I mentioned I worked in Silicon Valley, but since you didn't I'll clarify it.

Most Americans like to define their country as the best country in the world or as the "bright light" of whatever, even though they have never been in any other country besides the US. Well I guess since I have worked in 3 European countries already, and in the US, I can make a better comparison. And guess what I found out? There's no perfect country. And for what I have seen, the US is definitely not the one closer to being perfect. I have nothing against the US, I love NY and SF, but the fact that most Americans think that everybody needs them and that they have more than once saved the world (and at the same time they can't even name the capital of Germany or Spain), well that's really annoying. But I don't blame them, it's the result of years of brainwashing by the media and Hollywood.

Anyway, I might take a look at your book, even though it is only rated 3 starts by amazon readers. I like to read. It is something most of your countrymen should do more often (I'd recommend they start with some easing reading, such as an Atlas).

But I guess this is gone of topic, and I don't want you to think that I'm trolling your blog, so I won't bother you anymore on this subject.

More on topic, I have been following the republican and democrat debates (yes, I know it's none of my business, it's not like I can vote or anything) and for what I've seen there are guys out there that have the potential to be worst than Bush.

I must admit I didn't know Ron Paul before the debates started, and I have to tell you... I don't agree with him on several things (universal health care for example) but if he was running for president in my country he would get my vote. It is very hard to find an honest politician like him, no matter where you live. Too bad the US "democratic" system will never allow someone like him getting elected for office.

So good luck for your next presidential elections. After the last 2, I'm really interested in finding out who you guys will pick next... I'm not very optimistic about whom it will be though, I can't imagine US voters making the right decision. But I'd love to be proved wrong in 2008!

(If it's Giuliani I'll be forced to type a gazzilion "anti-american" posts all over the internet ;-) )

The Annoying European

Paul Levinson said...

I have a better idea - seeing as how The Soft Edge has only three out of five stars on Amazon and all, and that seems important to you ...

They have public libraries in some parts of Europe, right? Why don't you give yourself a break, and take The Soft Edge out of a library?

That way, if you dislike it - which is likely, given that it's filled with inconvenient facts about how the United States helped bring democracy to the world (you know, Thomas Jefferson, etc) - you won't hate yourself in the morning for having spent any Euros on the book...

:) see, I want to minimize discomfort for my readers...
an American consideration for neighbors...

Anonymous said...

check this out... ABC started the debate off with deception:


Paul Levinson said...

From what I just read of the poll on your web site - and the link to the Washington Post - it looks like it as a scientifically legimate poll.

Meaning: in a genuinely randomly selected sample, 100 is actually three times the minimum number (which is 30) needed to get an accurate result. Further, the initial sample size was actually 402.

I of course can't speak to how the poll was actually conducted on a person to person basis.

Scientifically conducted polls can of course be wrong - and have been in the past.

But, as far as I can see, ABC did nothing wrong in this case.

Anonymous said...

No offense, but I hardly doubt your book will be available in many libraries in Europe... But that's ok, for what I can tell from your description it's just another science fiction pro-American propaganda book, so I'll skip it. I'll just watch some Hollywood movie and get the same message. And I get to eat some popcorn. Buying your book would be cheaper though, I could get it for $5 + shipping. That's pretty cheap, even cheaper than a package of 6 Scott toilet paper rolls.

Keep up the good work of trying to promote yourself!

Who am I kidding, you're probably the most famous person in your household already. Bye bye, professor! ;-)

Joaquin said...

the ABC story that "explains" why RP won the poll is chilling. They create a poll, then discredit the poll. The George Stehanopoulus interview with RP and Gravel is still one of the most disturbing things that I have seen in terms of suppression and the maintenance of status quo. It can make you break out in a cold sweat just thinking about what is considered acceptable in the environment we live in today.

Paul Levinson said...

European - no offense taken - you're providing good comic relief... :)

Let's see ... The Soft Edge has been translated into nine languages, most recently Polish, so I think it should be available in some European libraries...

But I like your idea that it's really science fiction! Sometimes an author is the last one to realize the implications of his/her own work - I'll let my agent know about the science fiction angle, and, who knows, maybe they'll make a movie out of the textbook, which will save you the hassle of reading it...

Thanks again for your interest...

(Happy to say that I'm not the most famous person in my household - we talk much more about our son and daughter...)

Paul Levinson said...

Joaquin - yes, indeed. The only remedy at present is to keep talking about it, keep those abuses in public focus.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Levinson: Thank you for "outing" the media in terms of their propensity to manipulate "information" or "news". Based upon what the media has reported, I felt rather discouraged about the choices we had for President on either side of the fence. Friends of mine who have been historically hardcore Democrats or Republicans are voicing the same sentiments. A couple weeks ago, a friend sent me a copy of an article entitled "Gaming the U.S. Elections" from Stratfor.com. This article mentioned Ron Paul who I had never heard of before. Curiosity prevailed and I Googled him. After a day of watching and reading everything I could on him, I will confidently say that this 60 yr old life long registered Democrat will be voting for Paul and actively campaigning for him. He is the only candidate at this point where I feel like I can look at myself after election day. I believe that we are in the middle of some kind of "paradigm" shift in regards to many social/political issues. Contrary to "Anonymous", there is a tremendous ground swell building where people are "getting it". It is so gratifying to see that so many young people are uniting and seeking a better solution to our government. Lastly, I was impressed with the professional manner in which you responded to "Anonymous". Kim Thurman

Anonymous said...

Clarification. My post regarding "Anonymous" (I guess everybody gets this monikor if you don't have a website or a Google username) is in reference to the chap from Australia.........enuf said. Kim Thurman

Paul Levinson said...

Kim - excellent posts - and thanks so much for the appreciation of how I responded to the Anonymous Australian (the Annoying European was a lot of fun, too).

I don't know what kind of education they mete out in some places overseas, but apparently it doesn't have much regard for historical facts. :)

Glad you made your way over to Infinite Regress - most everyone else, too - hope you keep coming back and reading and commenting.

Anonymous said...

American has done exceptional things no doubt, its a country populated by allot of exceptional people, but this view that you have about your place in the world and your national virtue is delusional.

The partisan hack factory otherwise known as the "American Media" is probably one of the worst in the western world. Anyone that takes you to task is "anti American" Most of congress haven’t been out of the damn country and have no real idea what is happening even in your own country.

Your press have been seduced by big business and sensationalism. Most Australians watch the news from all over the world a large minority of Americans still believe the world was made in 7 days. Your politicians are the most manipulative amoral politicians outside or Russia, you borrow money to wage wars from your natural enemies the Chinese. I am not your enemy I am just trying to wake you folk up cause if you don’t your going to really regret it when you do 

Ron Paul realizes the truth of your peril.

Scenario: America has begun and remains embroiled in a horrific, genocidal war with the Iraqis in order to steal their oil. Profit Sharing Agreements, written in Washington, D.C. prior to commencing this illegal war mark the greatest attempted theft of another country's natural resources in world history. Under these agreements, which have cost us dearly to try and get signed, 85%-87% of Iraqi oil profits for the next thirty years will go to Big Oil. Already America is beginning to make deals for the sale of vast quantities of oil to Israel by promising to ship it by pipe, through Jordan to Haifa's refineries. We are spending $5,000.00 per second, borrowed money all, in our attempt to divvy up that which is not ours. America is borrowing the five thousand dollars a second from our newest bankers, the Red Chinese Communist government, which has been only too glad to finance the debacle in which we find ourselves, while their government quietly circles the globe buying up every oil contract it can find for sale at a cost of pennies on the dollar compared to what America is spending squandering lives, devastating countries, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, breaking our military, and bankrupting the Treasury the Chinese are all too willing to keep full for us.

America has been living on borrowed money and borrowed time as we once again begin saber-rattling, blowing smoke, and making utterly puerile threats to start imposing sanctions against our bankers. Well, bankers can strike back, too.

See this article from the Telegraph.co.uk:
Two officials at leading Communist Party bodies have given interviews in recent days warning - for the first time - that Beijing may use its $1.33 trillion (£658bn) of foreign reserves as a political weapon to counter pressure from the US Congress.[…]

Described as China's "nuclear option" in the state media, such action could trigger a dollar crash at a time when the US currency is already breaking down through historic support levels.

It would also cause a spike in US bond yields, hammering the US housing market and perhaps tipping the economy into recession. It is estimated that China holds over $900bn in a mix of US bonds.

Xia Bin, finance chief at the Development Research Centre (which has cabinet rank), kicked off what now appears to be government policy with a comment last week that Beijing's foreign reserves should be used as a "bargaining chip" in talks with the US.

"Of course, China doesn't want any undesirable phenomenon in the global financial order," he added.

He Fan, an official at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, went even further today, letting it be known that Beijing had the power to set off a dollar collapse if it choose to do so.

"China has accumulated a large sum of US dollars. Such a big sum, of which a considerable portion is in US treasury bonds, contributes a great deal to maintaining the position of the dollar as a reserve currency. Russia, Switzerland, and several other countries have reduced the their dollar holdings.[…]

The threats play into the presidential electoral campaign of Hillary Clinton, who has called for restrictive legislation to prevent America being "held hostage to economic decicions being made in Beijing, Shanghai, or Tokyo".

She said foreign control over 44pc of the US national debt had left America acutely vulnerable.[…]

"The words are alarming and unambiguous. This carries a clear political threat and could have very serious consequences at a time when the credit markets are already afraid of contagion from the subprime troubles," he said.

A bill drafted by a group of US senators, and backed by the Senate Finance Committee, calls for trade tariffs against Chinese goods as retaliation for alleged currency manipulation.[…]

Henry Paulson, the US Tresury Secretary, said any such sanctions would undermine American authority and "could trigger a global cycle of protectionist legislation".
Could it be any more obvious that bush's "war on terra" has exposed America to more existential threats than any terrorist group possibly could?

The Chinese "nuclear option", if exercised, would instantly bankrupt us, cause blockbuster inflation at a breakneck pace, reduce the value of the dollar to about 20¢, and cause every other major holder of the dollar to push a massive selloff of dollars guaranteed to break us.

Imagine $25 flip-flops, $30 T-shirts (a 2-pk, of course), a $180,000.00 Toyota Prius, and $10-$15 for a gallon of gas.

Can't happen? All too sadly it can, and will happen if bush keeps up his imperial ambitions to conquer all the oil-rich nations to steal the oil we could have bought for much less than what we have spent in blood and treasure just to avoid doing the honest thing and buying the damned oil we need.

bush/cheney, the 108th and 109th Rubberstamping Congress, and the willingness of them all to sell off American assets and spend trillions every year we do not have has placed America in far greater danger from the enemies within than from without.

We are not safer.
9/11 happened on bush's watch.
bush has spent more money, in collaboration with his congressional sycophants, than all previous presidents combined.
His criminal attempt to commit genocide in Iraq to steal their oil jeopardizes us all.
The instant we go after any Chinese-controlled oil fields the free ride will stop and all markers will be called in.
The financial collapse of the government will lead to martial law and more frantic attempts to steal what America needs because we will not be able to afford to buy whatever that may be.
Then America will be no more, as every prior principle that guided America has been corrupted and twisted-in-a-sick-way by bush and the Republicans, with the assistance of the spineless, cowardly mice we have in congress that are called democrats.

After all, it wasn't until Saddam started demanding payment for his oil in a "more stable currency" like the euro that it suddenly became urgently necessary to attack and destroy him.


Anonymous said...

I think the Annoying European is simply sore because of the "bright light" statement.

Yes, without the help of the US, the entirety of Europe and likely the USSR as well would have fallen. Does that mean we beat the Nazis? Semantics, yes we did, and at the same time yes the brave people who were and are not only our allies, but also our blood cousins across the sea achieved the same goal. It's because, you know, we worked TOGETHER. Because we're all in it together.

And as to the bright light? No, I do not think we Americans are a bright light ... right now. But we are nation founded upon idealism, and our ideals are something we all always strive for - it is what makes us who we are.

The most troubling thing about the past 50 years of American history is that these ideals have been completely hijacked. I mean, speaking to other Americans, do you actually take the president seriously when he talks about freedom? I've often wondered what definition he's using, because it's not mine, and never has been.

To me freedom does not mean the choice to drink Coke or Pepsi, fascism or communism, red state or blue state. It also does not mean "free to screw over anyone in my path to get what I want." My freedom is not the sum of my possessions. Freedom is not needing an oil company, another nation, my own government or any organization to survive, let alone live. Freedom is being able to choose to take part in one or more of those organizations in order to enrich and strengthen ability to live. Freedom is not surrendering control. Freedom is not trademarked, nor does it have a brand. Freedom is not being part of the system, freedom is being the system.

How's that for boat-load of bumper sticker material, lol. But at the same time my sentiment is serious ... America has gone astray, our bright light has gone dim.

And the shenanigans you pointed out that are pulled not only by ABC, but all the mainstream media in America and even elsewhere are a big facilitation of this dimming by all the same people who simultaneously sit on the boards of numerous corporations, they all know each other if not through family, then through business retreats like the Bohemian Grove. Corporations and industry organizations being allowed the unfettered access they have to the government has poisoned it.

I think it all began in the Civil War, when states rights lost out to industrial expansion. And it was engineered so perfectly - slavery goes against every idea we hold dear - who's going to speak out against a war fought to free the slaves? I certainly wouldn't, I abhor the concept. But at the same time, we got started on this track that the federal government knows whats best for the states ... and now over the past 150 years, they've taken so much control - ingrained their bureaucracy into every facet of our life. And now over the past, how long? 50 years? 100 years? There has been the tandem usurpation of the federal government by the executive branch and the executive branch by "business interests," which now, under Bush has essentially declared itself above the rule of law. That my friends is dictatorship - the perfect dictatorship: the faces can change every four or eight years, but the family ties, business ties, social ties ... the dictator remains in power indefinitely.

So which dictator should we choose next year? Coke or Pepsi? We know which brand ABC wants - their own.

Paul Levinson said...

Well, let me be clear about why I think America has been the "bright light," and why that view is based on fact, not delusion:

WWII: Nazi Germany was supreme in Europe, Japan in Asia. It was not until the US got in the war that both of these non-democratic societies were rolled back and defeated.

This doesn't mean the US was perfect then, or is now. It also doesn't mean that the US had no help from valiant allies - we did. What it does mean is the US was the decisive force. For some reason, this makes some people overseas uncomfortable. That doesn't mean that it isn't true.

Cold War: The Soviet Union had Eastern Europe under its thumb. Which was the most decisive society in ending that? Again, the United States. That doesn't mean that we acted alone, or we had no help. It does mean that we were the most responsible for ending The Soviet Union.

About Ron Paul: he and I don't agree on his views about the best course of action for the US in international relations.

What we do agree upon - and what I support and admire in his position - is that, whatever the US does or doesn't do, it must be done in accordance with our Constitution.

The US is in the trouble it is in now because we lost our way. We've been losing it with every undeclared military action we take, which is criminal under our Constitution.

If we had had a proper debate in Congress about Iraq, if the Constitution had been followed, we wouldn't be there now.

The last time the Constitution was followed in the US regarding wars was in WW II.

And before that, the Constitution was being trampled in other areas - such as with the creation of the FCC in 1934, in contradiction of the First Amendment.

Getting America back on course will not be easy, but I think it's possible. And, yes, part of that will be being more careful in international relations. But not turning our back in the world - that's no longer really possible in this interconnected world, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to add that I experienced ABC News forum censorship first-hand. I made a post about how the mainstream media and ABC News in particular marginalizes Ron Paul. By the next morning, the post was deleted (along with the dozen or so responses). When I realized the post was deleted, I posted it again, having made a copy of it just in case it was removed. Within minutes the repost was gone as well.

I thought maybe the fact that I commented specifically on ABC News's coverage was to blame, but I figured it would be ok after reading this at the top of their forums home page:

"We encourage you to talk back, discuss and debate, and make your voice heard. And, of course, we welcome your feedback both on our newly redesigned website -- and on our reporting.

Anonymous said...

Paul "Knows It All" said:

"I don't know what kind of education they mete out in some places overseas, but apparently it doesn't have much regard for historical facts."

I guess the only place in the world where you learn the "fact" that the US won the second World War and the Cold War is in the US. That's why your educational system is so great! LOL And that's why Americans are known all over the world for being so intelligent! hehehe

Ok I'm not trying to say that there aren't some brilliant people in the US... Of course there are! Too bad Paul isn't one of them though.

Check out what the Anonymous guy said at 2:33... It's good to see not all americans eat up all the propaganda that is shoved down their throats every day.

Paul is using that good all tactic of the US media. He keeps repeating a lie until it eventually becomes true. Unfortunately for him that only works in the US.

I had a good laugh reading the posts from the annoying european. But I think he should stop posting here, cause trying to reason with an american such as Paul is like trying to educate a brick.

Ohhh Paul, do us all a favour, start reading books instead of writing them!

Paul Levinson said...

anon - What ABC did regarding your comment is outrageous - I will definitely include it as an example of their sad performance in my class lecture in September - thanks for letting us know about it...

another European - whew, I see you're a master of subtle wit ... do yourself a favor, and see if you learn somewhere how to insult with a little style and flair ... at least the annoying European had a little of that :)

Anonymous said...

I think Paul is trying to live off his fathers or grandfathers reputation and deeds while his generation spends his grandchildrens future.

I go back to what the Aussie pointed out WW2 is 60 years past who cares whether we did or didnt win WW2 its of no consquence. Ike warned us about the military industrial complex, the founding fathers warned us about foriegn entanglments, the great American economists like Schumpeter and Keynes warned us about debt and deficits and we turned and gave the one finger salute to our grandparents ideals.

Idealism !, there is not idealism left and no one willing to fight for it.

Think about it we actually borrowed 1.2 trillion from the Chinese and the press never mentioned it till some communist party member decided to remind us.

and Paul you have to reach right back to WW2 to get some ammo to throw at the Aussie ?

I wonder what the 28m Russians that lost their live in WW2 would say ? maybe you should summer school in history?

oh Im sorry its all Bush and Cheney?

Everyone else in America is innocent?

Anonymous said...

This is Amoerica :)


Anonymous said...

hahahaha sorry its the Aussie back I actually got my post grad at UC Berkeley :)with Brad Delong

Olbermann is only journalist in America


Ok there are a few more but not many !


Paul Levinson said...

anon1: Read what I said in my comments - I was talking about America having been the bright light, and saying it could be again. Therefore, WWII is completely relevant. And, in another comment, I said that of course other countries and people made sacrifices in WWII - my point is that it was the US contribution that was decisive.

anon2 and 3: thanks for the links.

Anonymous said...

My first semester at Fordham I took Communications with Prof. Mary Roach. I remember we were discussing propoganda and bias in the media (this was in 1985, pre-internet) and I remember saying something like; "Well, one way to avoid bias would be to get the real story in The New York Times." everyone snickered at me and I ended up getting a D in that course, but over the next few years I was taught to think critically which was the one enduring gift from Fordham I received.

Acceptable presidential candidates are pre-annointed by the elites before we the people are allowed to consider them as viable. This is to prevent another messy situation like the JFK murder. Ron Paul is clearly heading this way. The goal now is to use the media to keep him on the sidelines and one of the ways it's done is through poll tinkering. Vote fraud will be used in the Iowa Straw poll to keep him marginalized. He must be lumped into the Nader/Kucinich camp, because if he gets too popular, he will have to be murdered. The elites will never allow a president that favors people over profits.

Paul Levinson said...

:) I wasn't teaching at Fordham in 1985, but I'm glad to see my colleagues wised you up about the New York Times and mainstream media ...

Welcome to Infinite Regress!

CJgolfs said...

I don't know what you're talking about. I just went to ABCNews.com. found the poll, voted and saw that Ron Paul now has over 40,000 votes. You quibble all you want with the commentary but get your facts straight.

Paul Levinson said...

cjgolf - I'm afraid it's your reading of this blog post and thread that's incorrect. Of course ABCNews.com reported the votes on its site - that's how we know Ron Paul did so well. But what ABCNews.com neglected to do was mention that Ron Paul won when ABC was evaluating the debate and mentioning the poll in its "Green Room" segment on television.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ron Paul, it is time to abolish the Federal Reserve.

Today in August 2007, the world financial systems and investment markets, real estate and the availability of credit are all under direct assault due to past actions of the Federal Reserve in the United States.

Read and sign the Ron Paul Is Right – Abolish the Federal Reserve Petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/fed/petition.html

Please link to the petition and forward this message to your friends and help the general public wake up during the current financial panic conditions to the problems we face from the Federal Reserve and Ron Paul’s solution.