Tag Archives: persuasive style

Big understatements; Part two

I mentioned that I started a post that explained why I had started thinking about Andy Warhol’s giant soup can, but that it wasn’t about autism, but on second thought I will bring this back around to autism, however we’re taking a scenic route so buckle up for safety, there will be some discussion of bombs and terrorism along the way. Yesterday I saw recently gathered statistics for rates of autism in children aged 7 to 9 in the Minneapolis area: overall average – 1 in 48; Somali-Minneapolis refugee – 1 in 32; White – 1 in 36; Black, non-Somali – 1 in 62; and Hispanic – 1 in 80; there were too few Asian-American and Native Americans with autism to include in the report. So does this suggest Somali-Minneapolis refugees and White Americans (who want to try to reduce their risk for having a child who develops autism later in life) should emigrate to Mexico? That might help provide more sunshine and vitamin D (if there is not an internal problem with vitamin D metabolism) but I can think of another issue that White Americans and Somalian-Minneapolis refugees might have in common — and it has to do with World War II, iodine and fluoride, and the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I told you the story in the last post in order to tell you a different story that is unrelated to autism research. Andy Warhol’s giant soup can popped up in my thoughts unexpectedly during a conversation I was having online regarding a writer whose work I had followed in the past. The other author and I are both U.S. citizens while the person whose post I was commenting on was from a different nation. The post and comments were about a humor site that used clips of the author’s work in a parody style on a site that was clearly labeled as a  parody (humor) site that was unaffiliated with the actual author.

I visited the site and it was funny but clearly were clips from longer works. On my return to the post I added a comment that the short clips taken out of context might be misrepresenting the author’s actual work. It was an MRA, a “Male Right’s Activist,’ parody site and my impression of the author’s work in the past was that he is actually a human right’s activist who writes satire which can be easily misinterpreted. The commenter responded that I should visit the author’s site and see what he was writing lately, as it seemed “deranged.” Now I’m not in a strong position to discuss whether or not another blogger seems deranged or not but I hadn’t visited the author’s site in a long time so I dutifully went to his site to check out his latest topics.

And it turned out that the author had been writing a series on Mr. Trump and his PERSUASIVE STYLE. Now I was really  laughing.

On my return to the post I added a comment that suggested that articles about Mr. Trump’s persuasive style might be satire. I received no reply and eventually deleted the comment. I was still thinking about the topic though and started another comment the next day in defense of my virtual acquaintance whom I considered something of a frenemy and you know what they (don’t) say — “A frenemy is a frenemy forever.” The comment that I wrote disappeared due to tablet malfunction before I could post it and I decided not to try to rewrite it as opinions are very individual things. [Update, May 10, 2016: satire may not have been intended, that was just my interpretation, or maybe my hope.]

But in thinking more about why I had found the phrase “Trump’s PERSUASIVE STYLE” so funny, the thought popped in my head that it was word art and was such a big understatement that it should be hanging on the wall in the Museum of Modern Art next to Andy Warhol’s giant soup can. And that thought was such a non sequitor that I then had to think about what I had meant and I realized that Andy Warhol may have condensed an entire heartwarming Norman Rockwell image inside of his giant soup can and that would be a really big understatement.

So what was funny about “Trump’s PERSUASIVE STYLE” — the CapsLk button, that’s what. I had mis-quoted it in my deleted comment by using small letters, it was the caps lock key that the author had used that made it funny to me. In the online world using all capital letters would suggest that Mr. Trump’s persuasive style is shouting.

Shouting is a classic style of persuasion but examples from literature suggest that it can lead to escalation of trouble rather than working out win/win solutions. The classic work that comes to mind is the story “The Three Little Pigs.” In the children’s story the big bad wolf wants to eat the three little pigs and he calls to them from outside of their house, trying to trick them first by acting friendly and asking politely to be let inside but they aren’t fooled and don’t open the door. He then threatens to “huff, and puff, and blow their house down.” This worked — the first time, when the little pigs had built a house of straw and the wolf did manage to blow it down but the little pigs escaped safely out the back door, — and it worked the second time, when the little pigs had built a house of sticks. But it didn’t work the third time when the little pigs had built a house of bricks. [This version of the story on Project Gutenberg seems like an older version of the story than what I read as a child; the first two little pigs get eaten in this version while the more wily third little pig ends up eating the wolf – take home lesson for little children might be — build with bricks and don’t believe everything that strangers tell you —  the psychologically manipulative wolf — or little pig — may manage to be invited in and have you making them tea and signing a legal contract before you even know what happened. [http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18155/18155-h/18155-h.htm]

The problem with the big, bad wolf persuasive style of shouting is that it is full of hot air, and as soon as someone realizes that, then all they have to do is change the channel or build a brick house. Unfortunately for U.S. citizens and writers, it has become more difficult to find a channel without Mr. Trump’s PERSUASIVE STYLE and if he were to be elected President then he might be able to blow down houses with bombs that contain radioactive waste. We may not be using atomic bombs in our drone attacks but depleted uranium may be being spread with some of the bombs that are in use, and while the U.S. hasn’t admitted to using bombs with depleted uranium, hair analysis of the mothers of infants born with congenital malformations in areas where there was a lot of bombing did find the presence of increased levels of uranium. [https://www.rt.com/news/iraq-depleted-uranium-health-394/]

Infants are being born with severe birth defects at a rate of 14.7% in Fallujah, Iraq, and up to 50% of infants born following the worst years of bombing have been found to have some type of malformation. The rate of miscarriages also increased significantly. Mercury and lead levels have been found to be more elevated in the infants born with more severe defects.

“The latest study found that in Fallujah, more than half of all babies surveyed were born with a birth defect between 2007 and 2010. Before the siege, this figure was more like one in 10. Prior to the turn of the millennium, fewer than 2 per cent of babies were born with a defect. More than 45 per cent of all pregnancies surveyed ended in miscarriage in the two years after 2004, up from only 10 per cent before the bombing. Between 2007 and 2010, one in six of all pregnancies ended in miscarriage.” – Sarah Morrison, 13 October 2012, [http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/iraq-records-huge-rise-in-birth-defects-8210444.html]

The rate of birth defects in Iraq has been worse than the rate of birth defects that occurred in Hiroshima after World War II.

So Mr. Trump may shout about banning Muslims and blowing up foreign nations but it seems to me that the big, bad wolf approach has already been in use by the U.S., and by the terrorists, and it has continued to escalate.

In 2001 allegedly terrorists flew an airplane into a building and somehow managed to make  the building disintegrate as if it were a planned demolition and they managed to crash an invisible airplane into the Pentagon, our nation’s citadel of defense; now that is an incredible huffing and puffing act — and kind of hard to believe. Interestingly while Americans have been taking off their shoes before boarding airplanes ever since 2001, the terrorists haven’t tried to repeat the disintegrate a building with one airplane trick. Maybe they know something about it that the rest of us just have to speculate about (like the laws of physics). Anyone who watches modern action movies has known for awhile that flying an airplane into a skyscraper can cause fires and the elevators stop and people can break an ankle in their rush down the stairwells — but movie goers learned that overall skyscrapers are pretty sturdy and most of the people do manage to get out safely — and we even learned that given a smallish jet and a glassy skyscraper, a really good action adventure hero might even be able to fly the plane into the building, rescue the girl, and fly the plane right back out of the building again — without starting even a smallish fire. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Towering_Inferno] [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Lies]

Terrorist activity has escalated more recently though. More territory is under control of the Daesh/ISIL and first they destroyed ancient monuments within the Middle East region and weren’t stopped. And then last year terrorists attacked citizens in Paris twice, a city with a monument linked historically with the U.S. monument the Statue of Liberty. So attacking the city somewhat symbolically attacks the U.S. too, and the international community also, with the conference on global warming that was held in Paris in 2015. And then terror attacks were escalated further when it was brought to the U.S. in the attack on a group of social service workers in San Bernardino, CA, in December, 2015.   [http://www.abc15.com/news/national/workers-return-to-site-of-san-bernardino-attack]

Escalating big bad wolf tactics with more big, bad wolf tactics seems like a bad idea to me. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after all, oops, but now there is a fifty percent chance of birth malformations in infants born in some areas of Iraq. The rate of cancer is also significantly increased. That is truly terrifying to me. To look at this from a different perspective consider the atrocity of the Nazi’s and Hitler’s regime — what if the history books said something like: “During Hitler’s regime eleven million people were killed just because they were black, or were of different political, religious, or sexual affiliation then the Nazi regime, or were Gypsies or other foreign nationals (that part is true); and the Blitzkreig bombing of London and other areas of the U.K. caused a fifty percent birth defect rate for decades after WWII was over (that part isn’t true – the Blitzkreig bombing did not leave depleted uranium).” The search engine didn’t find uranium in association with the WWII Blitzkreig but it did provide a quote from someone who knew Adolf Hitler during his early days:

“Here is a quote from a biography of Friedelind Wagner:

‘Hitler became a frequent visitor in our home, so I knew him as only a few people ever knew him, informally, without “stage make-up,” as it were. My father laughed about my mother’s strange messiah. He, in common with many others, felt that the new self-elected savior didn’t have one chance in a million to succeed. It was this one factor that helped Hitler most in his amazing rise to power. No one of importance took him seriously. The guardians of the Versailles Treaty were as successfully lulled to sleep as were the German people. Nobody bothered to stop him because everyone thought that he would presently vanish from the scene. (Wagner, Heritage of Fire, xiii).'” – [This excerpt is from a non-standard website – http://www.reformation.org/british-secret-service-agent-adolf-hitler.html]

The U.S has accidentally dropped shipments of supplies and artillery in territory held by the Daesh and has accidentally dropped bombs on a hospital run by volunteer physicians in Afghanistan. Citizens of Israel have been reported to have bought property in regions controlled by the Daesh/ISIL. War refugees moving out would leave empty buildings waiting for new occupancy — hypothetically it might be a good idea for the rest of the world to send in very large ground support for the regions that aren’t controlled by the Daesh yet, while the U.S. and Israel are figuring out priorities, before the situation escalates from what might be a small group of extremists or maybe even hired mercenaries into something that seems to fulfill religious prophecy for some of the extremists. The Daesh/ISIL do not represent all Muslims anymore than a group of armed terrorists/militia in Oregon represent all people of Oregon.

The summary of those links seem to be that this is a Hatfield and McCoy situation — a family feud going back generations — to use an American expression. Staying out of the way of two feuding tribes, families, or religious groups, may be the safest choice but the U.S. policy seems to have been to provide weapons to one side which seem to have an unfortunate tendency to end up in the possession of the other side — with an unspoken goal/fantasy that both sides would lose/kill each other. This is more of a passive-aggressive wolf style of persuasion. But while our troops might not be directly between the two feuding sides, the area’s non-combative citizens, their property, and their environment is in the middle and we the American public may have been funding the escalation of the feud by providing one or both sides with dangerous weapons (whether inadvertently or on purpose our providing dangerous weapons is increasing the risk to the area’s non-combative citizens and to their environment and property).

Organized sports and the Olympic Games have been successful solutions for harnessing our instincts for tribal rivalry. Maybe competitive gardening could be introduced instead — planting sunflowers would be helpful because they absorb radiation better than other plants; planting lemon balm would be helpful for the citizens to eat because it might help protect their bodies against radiation damage, gingko biloba extract and spirulina may also have protective benefits as foods or supplemental extracts. [Cancer Risks of CT Scans] Something that would be unlikely to be helpful — more bombing.

Bringing it back to autism — Somalian refugees and Whites from Minneapolis may have hypothyroidism due to an underlying iodine deficiency and/or an excess of fluoride, bromide and chloride in common. In the 19040’s there was a big push to develop the atomic bomb in the U.S. and stop Hitler and then in the 1950’s there was a big push to show that fluoride was perfectly safe and helpful for children’s teeth and in no way was likely to be responsible for sicknesses being experienced by workers from the bomb building industry. Radioactive iodine leaks in Hanford, Washington where the atomic materials for the WWII bombs were produced have also experienced many sicknesses which also haven’t been recognized by the U.S. government. The best way to protect oneself from exposure to radioactive iodine is to be well nourished in iodine but instead of assuring adequate iodine the medical industry instead views radioactive iodine as a medical treatment to kill the thyroid gland in cases of cancer or autoimmune disease and in X-ray machines. X-ray machines work better when patients are deficient in iodine — however patient’s bodies work better when they have sufficient iodine so I really don’t agree with prioritizing the efficiency of X-ray machines over the efficiency of patient’s bodies.

  • http://manhattanprojectvoices.org/location/hanford-wa
  • http://www.hanfordproject.com/manhattan.html
  • Excerpt from “DownWinders,” hanfordproject.com: “In June 2002, the final HTDS report announced “the findings do not prove that Hanford radiation had no effect on the health of the area population…if there is an increased risk of thyroid disease from exposure to Iodine-131, it is probably too small to observe…”Understandably many former Hanford employees and area residents are extremely disappointed with the final HTDS statistical generalizations. In an article dated June 22nd, 2002 the Seattle Times shared a story of a woman whose father worked was an engineer at Hanford from1947 to 1953. Having lived downwind from the facility as a child, her illnesses include “cancer of the lip and salivary gland…tumors in her sinuses, hypothyroidism, and auto-immune problems.” [9] Ray Samsom, an electrician who worked at Hanford in 1974 was exposed to radioactivity when a sliver of radioactive graphite lodged in his nostril after changing overhead light bulbs. Now suffering an aggressive form of skin cancer in this same nostril, he has had to date five operations to cut out cancerous tissues and is scheduled for another to reconstruct his now disfigured nose. [10]” [http://www.hanfordproject.com/downwinders.html]

The sadder news for Hanford and Washington State, and for salmon and the Pacific Ocean, is that there are decaying barrels of radioactive waste still in the area and the cleanup has taken a lot of time and money and it seems like lawyers are the only ones to receive much compensation.

Just because people are told something is safe doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe. Just because legislators can pass a law saying no child will fail school doesn’t mean every child is born of average intelligence but it might lead to some children being harassed until they drop out or are suspended due to behavioral problems. Just because U.S. citizens are told that two airplanes can completely disintegrate three buildings does not mean that the entire world has to believe that story.

In summary – should White Americans and Somalian refugees emigrate to Mexico if they want to reduce their risk for having a child with autism later in life? Maybe or they could check their diets and lifestyles for sources of vitamin D and iodine, fluoride, bromide, and perchlorates. [http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/583325/11035892/1299126283010/HormonesHalidesandHealth.pdf?token=vDlcavn91jAOGMGsrNFhWRl6vfY%3D]

Regarding styles of persuasion — I like to be aware of many styles of persuasion so that I can recognize which one is being used against me in order to better defend myself or in order to have a more informed position for trying to negotiate a win/win solution.

The other take home point — U.S. writers – please be aware that if you write about Donald Trump there is at least one foreign reader who may get the impression that you are deranged.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./