Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Let’s take a step back and think about the swine flu rationally.

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

One person posted on facebook last night, “Swine Flu now a pandemic.”

The definition of a pandemic, according to wikipedia is, “an epidemic of infectious disease that spreads through populations across a large region.”

65 US cases of the flu out of 303M+ hardly seems to be epidemic. And it has to be epidemic before it can be pandemic, by definition.

Here’s Congressman Ron Paul – who is also a physician – talking about the issue:
http://www.tdnlp.com/l/1243

Now I like Ron Paul’s case, but the argument can be made even more relevant. This took me less than ten minutes of research:

According to the CDCs own numbers, 200,000 people were infected by the flu in the US last year, and 35,000 died from it. That’s 547 people infected daily with 95 dying EACH DAY.

So far, we’ve got only 65 cases in the ENTIRE US over the period of a week or so, and only one death – an infant – which is unfortunately, tragically, normal for an influenza infection at that age.

And many of the 159 deaths reported in Mexico are attributed by guess only. They can’t confirm many of them, because they were buried or cremated before they could be tested. Only eight are actually confirmed by lab results. EIGHT! The media sure aren’t trumpeting that fact… it doesn’t net ratings like 159 does!

This is the SARS debacle all over again. This is the WHO and agencies like DHS flexing their muscles, just like they did back then.

It’s the medical equivalent of keeping the terror threat level at yellow for the last eight years.

It’s the flu, people. It might be a bit of a nasty flu, but it’s still the flu. I really think people need to calm down and think rationally about this.

Eat well, take your supplements, get sleep and wash you hands. That’s what most of the experts are saying. And most of all, stay positive. After all, your immune system is listening. 🙂

Update: This just in…

It’s possible you won’t choose to believe me or Congressman Paul. But how about the scientists? They don’t think it’s a big deal either, and they are predicting this outbreak won’t be any worse than your average winter flu season: http://www.tdnlp.com/l/1246

Stay empowered,
-Michael

Should we really still be mourning?

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

September 11, 2001 was a terrible, sad, gruesome day.

Was.

It has been a full seven years now.

Our great country was attacked, shocked, appauled, sad, angry, hurt… No collection of words can accurately describe the sentiment that day.

Everybody grieves differently, and for different periods of time.

But, too many people want to keep us focused on the 9/11 disaster, rather than focusing on how America can continue to grow and thrive and be a shining beacon for freedom and the pursuit of happiness around the world.

The time for mourning is over.

If we focus only on the negative events of our past, how could we expect to create anything different?

It’s time to focus on creating our future.

-Michael

Are your Presidential candidates hypnotizing you?

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

We’ve all heard rumors that governmental figures are using “mass hypnosis” to influence and sway the people of our great nations.

Most of the time, this sounds like some silly conspiracy theory. But after all the recent news about the elections, I think it’s time to find out if there’s any truth to the rumors.

I sat down to analyze the speech patterns of the top three candidates at the time of this writing (Mar 08) — Hilary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama.

Of course, without something to compare them to, numbers are just numbers. So I wanted to get some radically clear benchmarks for contrast. I picked one person who I’m fairly certain has no hypnotic skills — Bill Gates of Microsoft — and one who was notorious for his ability to hypnotize and influence the masses — Adolf Hitler.

In testing for hypnotic ability, I looked for these specific language patterns in a 500 word excerpt from each subject:

  • Erickson-style conversational hypnosis patterns
  • Presuppositions
  • Rich sensory-based language that guides the mind
  • Level of abstraction. The higher the abstraction, the more hypnotic the communication tends to be.

In addition, I made comments on whether or not, in my professional opinion, the language patterns are haphazard and incidental, or purposeful and intentional.

Here are the control results:

Bill Gates: Keynote at the 2006 CES show

12% hypnotic language. Mostly incidental. In my opinion, very representative of the average non-hypnotic speaker.

Adolf Hitler: Translated from his presentation to the Reichstag, Jan 30, 1937

45% hypnotic language. There were extensive use of presuppositions, nominalizations and modal operators similar to Ericksonian hypnotic language patterns. Though the text is translated, German is similar to English in terms of grammar and structure, and I think this is a good representation.

Now, The 2008 US Presidential candidates:

John McCain: Republican candidate, Jan 19, 2008 acceptance speech
18% hypnotic language. Mostly incidental. Little indication of actual hypnotic skill. Mostly, using kinesthetic predicates (feeling words) for high level concepts like patriotism, pride and duty to gain rapport with the crowd.

Hillary Clinton: Democratic candidate, Feb 5, 2008, remarks on Super Tuesday
32% hypnotic language. Mostly rapport building “matching” language. She builds universal quantifiers in an attempt to gain rapport with “everyone.”

Barack Obama: Democratic candidate, Feb 5, 2008, remarks on Super Tuesday
58% hypnotic language. Complete mastery of the language, including highly abstract pacing and leading language for creating emotion and motivation. In addition to the language patterns, he is fantastic at going higher up in level of abstraction beyond details, while still managing to sound relevant. He uses Ericksonian-style language patterns, including presuppositions and nominalizations extensively.

This is only a sample of 500 words from a single speech, but as you can see, Obama tops the crowd using nearly 60% hypnotic language patterns. In my opinion, this is purposeful language, likely written by a very skilled speech writer — perhaps someone trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming or Hypnosis.

-Michael

PS – Here’s another great blog I found that echoes the same sentiment:

Greate Guys Weblog

UPDATE – September 6, 2008: My analysis of Palin’s RNC speech using the same criteria shows 25% hypnotic language. Good speech writer, but not as good as Obama’s.

Important notes about the recession from a hypnotist

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

“The recession.”

Those words are ominous, aren’t they?

It seems that every time an election comes up where it looks like the non-incumbent party will win, we are in a “recession.”

We had the Carter/Reagan recession. The Bush/Clinton recession. The Clinton/Bush recession. And now the Bush/???? “recession.” And each blames it on the other.

It’s all so politically convenient.

It’s all so damning.

But, who is it that decides that we’re recessing?

Who gets to make that call?

Who is the fortune teller, looking into their financial “crystal ball” to deal us our daily doom and gloom?

It’s The Media.

That lovely bunch of people who are so passionate about delivering us “the Truth.”

Those mega-corporations of broadcasting, so heavily invested in by those who benefit from keeping “the masses” in line with their main-stream thinking.

We, the masses.

Being in the self-help industry, I often talk to people about investing in themselves. People are so easily willing to invest in their car, their cable TV, their Starbucks, their cell phones, but often, not themselves.

One of the reasons that people give us for not investing in themselves lately is, “the Recession.”

So, we’ve started asking a very simple question in reply.

“Oh, really? How has the recession affected you?”

The answer is always the same.

“It hasn’t, really.”

While the economy of our country isn’t currently at its peak, we are by no means in a recession.

Yet, we hear about it everywhere.

At least, everywhere The Media has a microphone or camera.

And those who disagree aren’t given access.

You’ll hear people with political agendas say things like, “Although the current economic conditions may not meet the technical definition, by any common sense definition, we are in a recession.”

When did economy move from being based on facts and figures to “common sense?”

Common sense apparently tells us we’re in a recession when Dark Knight smashes all previous box office records.

Common sense apparently tells us we’re in a recession when the iPhone – a $200 product even at the upgrade price – is flying off the shelf and selling one million units in the first week.

Common sense apparently tells us we’re in a recession when new TV purchases are up 28% in 2Q 2008 – a total of 9.3 million units.

But common sense is the last thing The Media – and those who fund it – want you to have.

See, the more common sense you have, the harder it is to influence and persuade you.

The Media wants to be your common sense.

And in order to do that, they – and those who fund them – need us in a constant state of panic. Fight or flight.

If you’re not taking what The Media tell you with a healthy grain of salt, you are being hypnotized.

The most precious thing that can be taken from us as a society is our own ability to think freely.

Yes, it is easy to delegate all our critical thought and opinion to others. After all, we are busy people. They are the “experts.”

But watch out. Easy can be dangerous.

Educate yourself. Think for yourself. Be proud to be yourself.

That’s what America’s all about.

-Michael

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