Weiland Ross: An adult reading list for spotting disinformation and gaslighting

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Weiland Ross, a resident of Sunderland.

These are confusing times. We are endlessly bombarded with conflicting information and flagrant misinformation from all sources. The cancel culture warriors are in full cry and are tirelessly working at re-writing our national history. None of our great icons are safe. Too much of our mass media is dedicated to fake news. The major social communication platforms are dedicated to silencing viewpoints that a few top executives deem unsuitable. There are calls to treat conservatives, MAGA supporters in particular, as cult members that need to be deprogrammed for the good of society. It doesn’t matter which level of government is involved — a lot of proposed legislation and other programs are suspect on their face.

To create order from this confusion, to determine what is nonsense, to detect gaslighting and decide what is valid, we need to revisit three classic sources. These re-reads will remind us that we are capable as individuals of sorting out what is good for us and what is being foisted on us by the masters of group think.

Public domain

As of 2021, the the global warming climate crisis fits the ‘sky is falling’ model. From Al Gore to the Swedish teenager to the green new dealers, we have been told for 20 years that our civilization is doomed.

First, consider the “Chicken Little” story. A foolish hen is hit on the head by a falling acorn and concludes that the sky is falling. She races around the farm spreading this information until a mass panic is created. At some point another creature figures out that the whole thing is not true, and order returns. As of 2021, the the global warming climate crisis fits the ‘sky is falling’ model. From Al Gore to the Swedish teenager to the green new dealers, we have been told for 20 years that our civilization is doomed. The oceans were supposed to rise and flood our coastal cities and re-shape our coastlines. Our air was predicted to be so polluted that we would be choking to death. The temperature was supposed to rise enough to destroy our ability to grow food for the population. None of the above has happened. What has happened is that a lot of panic driven public policies and harmful legislation has been passed.

The second key read is the fable of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” This is the original example of a fake news story leading to the defrauding of a whole population by skillful con-artists. Not only is the weak-minded ruler convinced that his non-existent new clothes are fabulous, but his loyal subjects all buy into the con rather than run the risk of not being woke enough to see what isn’t there. After two years and millions of dollars spent on the search, no Russian collusion by our president was found. Impeachment followed anyway. The Paris Climate Accords were praised as a planet saving device, even though China was declared to be a developing country and is not expected to even set any target goals for eliminating pollution until 2030. What kind of mental gymnastics regards the only economic system on the planet that rivals the U.S. as “developing”? China leads the planet in terms of emitting industrial pollution. Ten months of almost daily rioting and looting in Portland was declared to a “peaceful demonstration.” The solution advocated in most big-cities to deal with urban lawlessness was to restore order by defunding police departments.

Now for the most important item on our study list. Get a book of “Dot to Dot” puzzles. Pick one out that is somewhat challenging, one that you need to pay attention to in order to work out the whole picture. Becoming skillful at connecting the dots will help you spot any scam. Learn to look at each dot to see how it got there and where the next dot will lead. We are told that electricity must replace fossil fuels to save the environment. We are not told what fuel will power the generating plants. Solar and wind power sound good, but in reality they have inherent problems that are glossed over by those who want to sell them to us. The Keystone Pipeline is on hold again.

Pipelines are the safest, cleanest and least expensive method of transporting fuel. The greatest opponents of building pipelines are not environmentalists. Leading the charge against pipelines are the railroad and trucking interests that are much more accident prone and costly than pipelines. If forgiving college loan debt is a good thing to do, does the same logic apply to business loans and home mortgages?

The questions are almost endless, but they all have answers. Our task is to take charge of our own thought processes. Is the sky falling? Do we really believe that our leaders are giving us the truth when they reassure us that newly unemployed workers will all be re-hired at equal paying jobs? We have no choice but to stop listening to the spin-miesters and connect the dots ourselves to see the real picture.

Image courtesy of Public domain

11 thoughts on “Weiland Ross: An adult reading list for spotting disinformation and gaslighting

  1. Climate nonsense has been around a long time as author of Chicken Little so presciantly exposed. Great commentary and standing O for inclusion of this allegory – rather hilarious that a fable in its simplicity can say so much.

    Exposes brainwashed Climate Fascists for the flat-earth followers they all are – difficult to believe ppl can be so easily decieved as fable appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

    Personally have list of fallacies – it’s a pretty vast topic – serves to show how deep the deception rabbit hole goes.
    Studying fallacious arguments and propaganda techniques huge expose however I think plenty of ppl can detect bs pretty well lol.

  2. Re: ‘What has happened is that a lot of panic driven public policies and harmful legislation has been passed.’

    This is more insidious than the author is letting on. The Chicken Little metaphor would be more accurate if Henny Penny was found to be collaborating with a helmet manufacturer and making loads of money under the pretense of ‘protecting’ the animals from falling pieces of the sky. After all, the occasional acorn doesn’t carry the same weight (pun intended) as does Global Sky Collapse.

    Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s pure sophistry, protecting MSM, posing as online intermediaries that host or republish speech, when, in fact, the MSM creates content by restricting certain aspects of other content not meeting their market goals.

    It is the consummate infringement of commercial antitrust and criminal RICO statutes, because the MSM is profiting from the practice, not ‘protecting the community’.

  3. As a counter to the Modern Dictator, who is the Information Gatekeeper that is everywhere and is yet hard to pin down, we as citizens have to seek out and assess our own information and disregard completely the label of “misinformation,” which label is the main weapon the Modern Dictator uses to keep us in line (readers of True North already know this.) Such (mis)information is exemplified in a recent publication that reviews evidence that the CDC, in disregarding its prior method of assessing cause of death and instituting new rules solely applicable to Covid-19, greatly exaggerated deaths from Covid-19. https://jdfor2020.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/adf864_165a103206974fdbb14ada6bf8af1541.pdf

    We can find the fingerprints of the Modern Dictator everywhere, but particularly insidious is how our friend has convinced us that life-saving drugs don’t save lives and actually kill people. Can it possibly get worse than that? The Modern Dictator has his own plans, so the answer is, once you become the Information Gatekeeper, anything is possible.

    Now we’re hearing in the mainstream media that we have a “reality” crisis. This is perfectly in-line with the Modern Dictator’s goals: he will tell us what is real and what is not. Feeble-minded minions who are cowardly defenders of “stay safe” and have had their minds cancelled of “stay free” will be obedient consumers of what the Modern Dictator desires us to know.

    • Thank you for that link. I knew that was what was going on but I didn’t have the time to gather that data.

      That should be shared far and wide.

    • Tortuous description of phantom boogey man is just another fallacy John – unless something specific can be named and described such as Uncle Sam or Big Brother as reference adds to the confusion and does not qualify as metaphoric.

      Have heard the term described but always references person(s).

  4. Each citizen should be encouraged to practice their own personal conservation. Do you recycle, I do as much as possible?

    Al Gore is one of the biggest liars on the planet.

    • Not to detract from your points: I agree with them. But that we ‘be encouraged to practice [our] own personal conservation’ isn’t the point. It goes without saying. But the fact is, the tyranny is already upon us. So, what do we do? Buy a helmet from Henny Penny? Walk naked through the village?

      I would like to reinforce Mr. Ross’s point:
      “Becoming skillful at connecting the dots will help you spot any scam. Learn to look at each dot to see how it got there and where the next dot will lead.”

      The first ‘dot’ is to recognize that our democratic voting process is clearly in need of repair. We must investigate and identify the specific detail of each problem, and there are many, before we can fix them. But fix them we must.

      Second: When our election process is secure, VOTE again in 2022. Nothing more need be said in that regard.

      But if we don’t identify the first dot, and secure our election process, nothing else matters.

  5. “Believe nothing on hearsay; do not believe in traditions because they are old, or in anything on mere authority of myself or any other teacher. Do not have blind faith. Accept as truth whatever, according to your own experience and after thorough investigation, agrees with your reason.” – Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha
    From at least my high school years over half a century past I have held to a principle: Believe everything. Believe nothing. In practice, plan as if it’s true, plan as if it isn’t. You expect to meet someone at noon? Be there. If they don’t show up, leave there. Don’t let it traumatize you. You’ve seen what that does to the Progressives. They believed the impending ice age in the seventies. It didn’t happen. They believed the AGW cabal in the eighties and still do. It didn’t happen. They haven’t let go of it. See what it did to them – and, unfortunately, to the rest of us. The “Believe everything” part is no longer an operative principle. I just judge by how totally BS crazy the speaker acts and find it monumentally disquieting that we have a political party which could find no candidate more worthy than Joe Biden as a nominee for President and the lengths to which they went to elect him. Now, Dizzie Lizzie wants to tax wealth. I think it unnecessary to go into how insane that is. We saw, under Trump, how a tax cut accelerated the economy, raised the standard of living – which may explain why the Democrats want to increase taxes.

  6. President Biden’s Climate Czar John Kerry has connected the dots on the faux global warming solutions and has now admitted to the American people that even if the United States does everything possible there will be no solution to the climate change problem.

    Despite John Kerry’s admission that America cannot solve global warming, President Biden is too weak to stand up to AOC and the other promoters of the New Green Deal and the farce continues. As the farce goes on, Biden is doing grave long term harm to the US economy, US energy independence and American working families as he closes pipelines, fracking and drilling on public lands.

    Even in Vermont we have a member of the House Committee on Technology and Energy who agrees with Kerry and admits that if the GWSA is fully carried out, global warming will not be mitigated. He rationalized his support for the GWSA and turning the state upside down because it would supposedly revitalize the Vermont economy……A task that he could not say what the cost would be. See:


    So those who have strongly supported ending global warming are now admitting there is no solution here…….They have connected the dots and can no longer mislead the people so they move the goal posts and talk about other justifications for what they are doing.

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