Sunday, November 11, 2018

JUST TRYING TO KEEP TRACK!

In the five days since the mid-term elections that saw Democrats take back control of the House and 7 more state governorships than before, here are a few things that have happened.

Another broken, selfish, useless fucking monster went on a killing spree, this time at a students' favorite country music bar in Thousand Oaks, California, killing 12 -- including a veteran police officer and a young man who'd only recently survived the Las Vegas massacre -- and providing a live, running Instagram of his murder spree before finally turning the gun on himself. If the killer (whom I will not be naming) had survived, I think the cruelest, most barbaric punishment I can think up for him would be if scientists could figure out a way to make him feel the way he made victim Cody Coffman's father feel in this excruciating video footage:


On Tuesday, the 2018 mid-term election was held, and even though they're still figuring things out, counting mail-in votes and verifying provisional ballots and things of that nature, what we DO know for sure at this point is that the the results were a lot better for the Democrats than most people seem to think. In fact, despite all the hand-wringing on the day in question, more votes were cast for Democrats than for Republicans by a whopping 10 points... and that's just votes COUNTED! When you factor in all the Republican attempts to prevent minorities, students and other traditionally Democratic constituencies from voting, the ratio of votes CAST for each party was probably even more lopsided. So yes, it was a Blue Wave, indeed, and a big one too, even if it didn't feel very much like it on the day.

Some of the most satisfying losses from the election had to be Trump's hand-picked election-rigger-in-chief Kris Kobach, Moscow's Man in Washington Dana Rohrabacher, and Wisconsin's apparently irremovable governor (until Tuesday), the oleaginous Scott Walker. Read more about them, and other losers who lost, in this VICE article.

Once the election was over and done with, Trump didn't lose any time before firing his much-abused Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Bedford Forrest Sessions III, and installing Matthew Whitaker, aka Marlon Brando from Apocalypse Now, in his stead*. Normally, Sessions' job would have gone to his second in command, Rod Rosenstein, until confirmation hearings could be held for the new AG. But seeing as Trump hates Rosenstein for refusing to tongue-bathe his anal fissures while Whitaker has long since proven his analingual allegiance to Trump, and seeing as both Whitaker and Trump are filthy, rotten scam artists and are thus inherently simpatico, and seeing as from the neck down they're both the same proportionate size and shape of the box a refrigerator comes in, Trump's choice was obvious.


Losing the House of Representatives and a bunch of state governorships to the Democrats hasn't exactly been doing Donald Trump's state of mind any good. First came his ludicrous attempts to spin last Tuesday's results as a "big win" for him personally (pro tip: it wasn't). Next, just one day later, he lost his freaking mind on CNN's Jim Acosta for basically no reason whatsoever, repeating his dangerous and nonsensical "enemy of the people" slur. Oh, President Rotten Jack-O-Lantern really put on a show:


The next day, the White House revoked Acosta's press credentials, banning him from future briefings, and causing consternation among other journalistic outlets. In trying to defend Trump's ludicrous, stress-induced extended tantrum, White House spokes-pig Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted from her official government account a video ostensibly showing that Acosta had "put his hands on" the intern whom Trump had tasked with stealing Acosta's microphone mid-question:


Now, the fact that the video in question shows pretty much the exact fucking opposite of what the White House says it does (the intern is far more rough and rude than Acosta) is bad enough. Topping off this ludicrous endeavor is the fact that the video had also been doctored, either by InfoWars' perpetually moist-looking Paul Joseph Watson, or by whatever other Fascist/White Supremacist he got the video from in the first place, to make it reflect more poorly on Acosta. That it failed utterly to convince any but the most far gone True Believer is a minor comfort, indeed, to the realization that the White House has apparently conscripted Alex Jones in its ongoing War Against Reality.

You'd think the whole Acosta thing would have gotten Trump's hatred for journalists out of his system, but nope. Just one day later, this happened:


Maybe it's the fact that the reporter in question, Abby Phillip, is both female and Black -- two types of people that Trump has historically had the most problems with -- that worsened his notoriously mercurial mood. But whatever the case, this was a particularly shitteous display from the Combover-in-Chief, and more proof (as if more was needed) that he's cracking under the weight of the self-inflicted, Hellish reality that is now poised to come crashing down on him, any fucking day now.

So what better way to unwind than a nice trip to France to celebrate Armistice Day with America's greatest allies? You'd think the prospect of a bunch of free top-notch French meals would calm him down a bit, but nope... Air Force One hadn't even landed by the time Trump took out his frustrated hatred on the Republican-allergic California electorate by saying the wildfires that have killed dozens and destroyed entire communities in the last few days were, in fact, their own damn fault:

This prompted a rather glorious response tweet by national treasure Julia Louis Dreyfus:

And nothing more be said about this... than that.

Finally, like the shitty little cherry on top of a fecal sundae, Trump provided what would be (and very well may end up being) the kind of lightning rod, turning point moment that sends his Presidency into a nose-dive from which it will be impossible, under normal circumstances, to recover. The tactless, hateful goon fucking skipped out on a long-scheduled Armistice Day commemoration at a cemetery where thousands of American soldiers are buried in the greatest honor... because of a light fucking drizzle. And the American people, including a lot of Republicans and even some former fans of his... well... they're not very pleased, apparently.

And so, until more notable stuff happens, that's what the week looked like to yer old pal Jerky.

***

* I was originally going to go with The Judge from Cormac McCarthy's novel, Blood Meridian, but I figure maybe 1% of you would have got that one, max, so I went for the easier joke. My apologies. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

MY SEMI-HIATUS, HOW, WHEN AND WHY


Okay, so the last time I sat down and tried to blog about current events, I wanted to say something about what was, at that point, seemingly unconnected stories about the disappearance of a couple of global VIPs. I intended to argue that they were connected, in that they both represent worldwide norms continuing to tumble to the wayside, and how horrific it was that stories that would have been huge deals just three measly years ago now seem like “just another weekday”.
First, of course, was the bizarre disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi... By now, we all know how that story turned out.
"Khashoggi, who has lived in self-exile in Washington for the past year fearing retribution for critical views on Saudi policies, entered the consulate on Tuesday to secure documents for his marriage, according to his fiancee, who waited outside. He has not been heard of since."
It's a turn of events so disgusting, it even comes with its own secretly recorded snuff movie.

And if you think that still-unfolding story is disturbing, how about the one we've already mostly forgotten about? That's right, there was another high profile disappearance that happened in the very same news cycle as Khashoggi's murder... or have you already forgotten that China just up and kidnapped the head of Interpol?! And nobody dared say shit about it, either.

A fuller and more recent, but still quite sketchy, overview of what happened to Meng Hongwei is available at his Wikipedia page, but it raises more questions than it answers, like for instance, what were the circumstances behind Hongwei's recent "resignation"? Can your resignation really be considered valid if it's done while you're being held captive? Interpol seems to think so! They're electing a new chairman in November! And also, what is it about the current geopolitical situation that makes China think it's a good idea to kidnap a global law enforcement officer ostensibly under the protection of the European states (France and Belgium) where Interpol is based?

And that was the last time I sat down to blog, and nothing came out. Since then, we've had the Brett Kavanaugh debacle, where possibly the least qualified candidate in the USA was given a life-long spot on the most important court in the most powerful nation on Earth, just because he showed a willingness to tongue-bathe Preznit Twitler's splotchy little mushroom (which is another thing we learned about recently), legally speaking. We've also had the murderous thugs of the alt-right and Far Right spawn a hilarious, projection-fueled campaign to accuse Democrats of being an angry mob (I WISH!!!), even as the body count being amassed by conservative murderers continues to swell on pretty much a weekly basis. And that's not even counting injuries and near-misses, like the Proud Boys riot in NYC.

And now, we come to this week. This week, in which an armed and angry white guy tried to bust his way into a Black church, and upon failing to do that, switched targets to a Kroger, where he murdered two Black people. This week, when a MAGA fanatic mad bomber from Florida tried to assassinate two former Presidents, multiple Democratic politicians, liberal media figures and, of course, George Soros. This week - this day, in fact - on which a man shrieking anti-Semitic slurs walked into a synagogue and opened fire, murdering at least eight people at last count.

Folks, we are in a dark and sunken place, and Winter is most definitely coming. The center cannot hold, and the accelerating entropy of it all has begun to make yer old pal Jerky's head spin. It's like so many of us are in a big hurry to tear everything down, even though all the ideas about ways to build things back up again are complete and utter shit.

And that's why I'll be taking a sabbatical from posting regular updates on this blog (as if my reduced output wasn't already obvious to anyone keeping tabs). Doing justice to the task of providing the kind of coverage that I once did with the Daily Dirt (circa 1999-2006) would require me, as it did back then, to once again start putting in sixteen hour days. This is simply beyond me at this point, particularly seeing as I am not getting paid to do it, and I also have other ambitions that I want to pursue before it's entirely too late for me.

And so, for the foreseeable future, I will be posting only occasional think pieces here, as well as "suggested reading" links whenever I come across an article that I think is worth sharing. These updates will be announced on my Twitter (@JerkyLeBoeuf) and Facebook (Mark Thibodeau) accounts, as well as on Reddit where and when I deem it appropriate to do so.

As for my Useless Eater Blog, it will continue to update on a daily basis for the foreseeable future. Kubrick U and The Mediavore will continue to be updated in a sporadic manner, with multiple updates already in the works for both.

That's about all I've got for you now. I would like to leave you with a handful of Suggested Readings that I think are pretty spectacular. The first is Janine di Giovanni's excellent piece for the New York Review of Books, titled Why Assad and Russia Target the White Helmets. It's a damn good piece, and a bracing antidote to anyone currently opiated by the sick-making propaganda garbage being spewed by the likes of "alternative" "journalists" Glenn Greenwald and (Godzilla forbid) Eva Fucking Bartlett.

And then there's this Los Angeles Review of Books essay by Ron Rosenbaum, titled Against Normalization: The Lesson of the Munich Post. It's a historical overview of the fate of the last hold-out large circulation newspaper in Germany to stand against the rise of Nazism, and it's one of the most frightening, despair-inducing things I've read in recent memory. Yet it also carries with it a sense of tragic heroism in the journalistic refusal to bow down to evil, and the value of continuing to resist up to and until the ultimate price is paid. I hope I don't have to tell you why it's such a timely and important read.

Until next time, I'm...
Yer old pal Jerky!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

INFO GRAPHICS / SUGGESTED READING

INFO GRAPHICS! CLIP SAVE & SHARE!


For a more complete overview of Wilson's place in the constellation of Far Right activism, and also for more details about his grotesque crimes against a minor, check out this Daily Beast article, which pulls no punches and thus will likely leave you with a terrible taste in your mouth. You have been warned.  


SUGGESTED READING LIST


Okay, I spent a lot of time on the "Info Graphics" sections above and below this "Suggested Readings" section, so I'm going to make this short and sweet. I'm also happy to reveal that I have finished my weeks-long project of cleaning out old stories that I've been wanting to share with y'all since the first months of the year, but for some reason never got around to. I've got one long-ish piece about Jordan Peterson and his misunderstanding of postmodernism left to finish up, polish up and share here, but after that, it's gonna be all new material here at the DDD! 

Unfortunately, that's not so much the case for Kubrick U and The Mediavore, which are both seriously behind schedule, and due for a whirlwind sweep-thru in the coming weeks, themselves. I've also got a couple of job-jobs lined up, so we'll see what happens.  

Anyway, first up, here's a handy-dandy info-sheet containing everything you ever wanted/will need to know about Alabama's Tiny Terror: Jeff Sessions, compiled by those wonderful worker bees over at The Baffler, one of yer old pal Jerky's favorite journals of literary and socio-political goodness!

***
Next up, I know we're all sick to the point of vomiting about what's going down with Brett Kavanaugh, whose performance before the Senate Judiciary committee last week would have been completely disqualifying in a functional democratic republic. But if you've been avoiding that soul-draining debacle (with good reason), maybe you should ingest our old pal Vic Berger's latest video, entitled American Horror Story: A Very Scary Time for Men., just so you at least get the basic gist of how terrifyingly far from the beaten path America has wandered, like a developmentally delayed child chasing a butterfly into a Big Cat sanctuary. 

Here it is:

 
And now, why not round out your Kavanaugh knowledge by reading this Current Affairs article about "How We Know Kavanaugh is Lying", and follow it up with this New York Times editorial that explores one part of Kavanaugh's bizarre, hateful obsession with the Clintons, including helping to spread ridiculous and downright evil Vince Foster conspiracy theories. Turns out there are SOOO many good reasons to despise this sack of crap. I have a feeling he won't be a Supe for very long, regardless of today's vote.

Parting shot re: Kavanaugh: I can't be the only one who thought that, while he was being questioned by Democrats during his confirmation hearings, his constant, pained facial contortions made him look like he was perpetually trapped in the early stages of transforming into a werewolf... right?

INFO GRAPHICS! CLIP SAVE & SHARE!


This big Okie creepshow is pretty much a walking, talking archetype, the living embodiment of Shakespeare's warning about those "who doth protest too much"! Because isn't it almost always the case that the loudest, angriest homophobes among us end up being the most thirsty for the dick? And aren't those who pray loudest always revealed to be the biggest hypocrites by the time the third act rolls around? Anyway, if you really need to know more details about this revolting specimen, here's a good place to start.

Monday, October 1, 2018

BRILLIANT, BRUTAL POLITICAL CARTOON BY BRUCE MACKINNON


JULIAN ASSANGE IS A LYING SACK OF SHIT


Hey, did y'all hear about how a bunch of Wikileaks documents, including private messages to and from Julian Assange and other co-conspirators, were recently handed over to a number of journalistic outlets by a group of concerned whistleblowers?

You want homophobia, sexism, racism, anti-Semitism? YOU GOT IT!

But even worse than those relatively minor transgressions, it turns out Wikileaks is also staffed by a bunch of lying, hypocritical assholes with numerous political biases, disturbing international connections, and sinister hidden agendas!

Who'd have thunk it?!

I suppose there is a certain delicious irony to be savored, re: Assange and company having often engaged in rhetoric more offensive, biased and "problematic" than most of their many targets have, and far, FAR worse than Hillary Clinton or John Podesta, in terms of their private communications. I’m sure the folks behind the Freedom of the Press Foundation, who cut off what had previously been a generous amount of funding to Wikileaks last year after multiple questions were raised about their methods and ethics, are feeling well vindicated these days.

Shocking absolutely nobody, another thing these DMs reveal is a clearly obvious pro-Trump, pretty much alt-right mindset prevailing among many among most of WikiLeaks' current leadership, with most of the original “true believer” information activists having long been replaced by stealth political saboteurs and professional hatchet-men.

So, basically, if you're looking for a quick and easy way to tell which is the wrong side of any issue to be on, you need look no further than the Twitter feed of the now entirely discredited and hopelessly corrupt Julian Assange (currently on mute, as his Ecuadorian hosts have had enough of his antics), and the various arms of his WikiLeaks operation.

But let’s be honest for a moment, here… you didn’t REALLY need whistleblowers to clue you in to what Wikileaks and Assange have become in recent years, did you? From their decision to back Trump at every turn, even going so far as to join Trump’s war on the media and CNN, to their obviously partisan attacks on the Democrats throughout the 2016 election period,

Wikileaks has been full of shit for a long time now.

Case in point, check out the way they had a shell entity called “Most Damaging Wikileaks”, which they pushed heavy via their social media, purposefully and in bad faith give the absolute worst possible, most literal read of every single email from their ill-gotten trove of John Podesta's personal emails. And the way they blatantly lied about what those emails actually said

For example, check out entry #6, which allegedly proves that Hillary's campaign wants "unaware" and "compliant" citizens. Their interpretation goes: "The Clinton campaign is literally conspiring to keep the population unaware of what is going on, and they admitted it in this email. Very scary ‘1984’ level thinking (group-think). If Hillary is the right choice for president and the truth is on her side, they should encourage their supporters to be aware and do research on both candidates."

Don’t be lazy. Go and read the email in question at this link, then tell me if you think their take on what that email says is accurate... or if Wikileaks has taken someone's disappointed critical words about the sorry state of contemporary political culture and spun that all-too-valid criticism into something unrecognizable… the idea that the person writing those words is, in fact, not just approving of these circumstances, but is literally a MASTERMIND behind them! It would be laughable if people didn’t give Wikileaks so much more credit than their bad faith political games-playing deserves.

Then check out #7, where they say "Top Hillary aides mock Catholics for their faith". Wikileaks claims that "Top Clinton aides, John Halpin and Jennifer Palmieri" -- both of whom are practicing Catholics, by the way -- "mock Catholics for their faith. They complain about the large number of Catholics in prominent positions. ... Palmieri when confronted about this revelation didn’t apologize." They then go on to agree with a number of conservative commentators who, upon reading the emails in question, called for Palmieri to either quit or be fired.

Here's Palmieri’s email. Read it, and you'll see that it's obvious what she was referring to... that specific, socially hardline conservative, anti-Vatican 2, "Opus Dei" brand of angry white country club Catholicism, of the type best exemplified by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Rupert fucking Murdoch. Nothing Palmieri said was untrue, and only an anti-intellectual snowflake idiot would think it controversial. That Wikileaks counts it as the seventh most controversial "revelation" from their Podesta document dump tells you all you need to know about that morally bankrupt, New Fascist International propaganda outlet.

One is reminded of Assange's reaction to the Catalan independence referendum in Spain. At the time, he declared haughtily from his cupboard in the Ecuadorian embassy that "the future of Western civilization is revealed" in these movements of breakaway from centralized power structures.

Of course, he doesn't feel quite the same about Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, or any other former Soviet satellite or independence movement that seeks to remove the heel of Putin’s boot from their collective throats. No, these freedom seekers should simply bow down to Putin, and accept that he's gonna carve off chunks of their territory at will. Better him than that despicable Imperial world-eater, the USA, am I right guys? I mean, come on! Everybody knows today’s CIA is worse than Stalin at his scariest, right?

Furthermore, the fact that Russia provides backdoor support to Catalan's independence movement (just as they do to the far right and far left and whatever other destabilizing actors there are in whatever state Russia feels like fucking with at the time) probably has nothing to do with the Russian mob's vast array of interests in the region, right?

I mean, to argue otherwise would be like accusing Assange of being in Putin's hip pocket or something! Totally not true. Total conspiracy theory. Totally not so obvious that a deaf, dumb and blind person could see it.

"Wikileaks... NEVER BEEN WRONG, BRO!!! ZERO EVIDENCE OF RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE, BRO!!! MADDOW IS A MAD COW, BRO!!!"

In closing, I would simply like to point out that Julian Assange deserves every bad thing that is about to happen to him... and worse. Far, far worse. And when it starts, it’s probably going to look a lot like this…


Monday, September 24, 2018

LEAH McELRATH'S TWITTER STORM: PUTIN'S COUP AGAINST AMERICA

Political researcher, commentator, and Twitter superstar Leah McElrath has brewed up a Tweetstorm for the ages. And what great luck for yours truly that her research backs up and dovetails beautifully with my own New Fascist International "conspiracy theory". Just read this tsunami of terrible truth and you'll begin to understand about Alexandr Dugin, Vladimir Putin, Richard Spencer, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, propaganda, psy-ops, cyberwarfare, the 2016 election, and everything else connected to the Beast that we're facing down in these, the most interesting of times. - Jerky

  • Guess who said this was their goal: "the strategic control of the USA...and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us."
  • Alexandr Dugin is Putin's geopolitical ideological mentor. He outlined a vision for a new Russian Empire. Above is part of his strategy.
  • Alexandr Dugin has a Facebook page. Days after the U.S. election, he posted "So. Washington is ours."

  • I encourage you to read Dugin's FB page for yourself, while remembering he is literally Putin's idealogical mentor. 
  • During the U.S. presidential campaign, Dugin "endorsed" Donald Trump.

  • Dugin's Facebook page is awash with praise for Trump and celebrations of Trump's win.

  • Dugin's (read: Putin's) ideology is a bizarre blend of white supremacy and a geographical emphasis on "Eurasia".

  • The explicit, literal goal of Dugin's/Putin's ideology is destruction of Western liberalism and destabilization of Western democracies.
  • Guess who else besides Putin likes Dugin (and writes for his website)? "Alt Right" founder and darling of Breitbart: Richard Spencer.
  • This is Richard Spencer retweeting Alexandr Dugin's tweet featuring an article by Spencer on Dugin's website:
  • Richard Spencer's wife is a Russian scholar who has translated Dugin's work to English.

  • Spencer's "Alt Right" neo-Nazi rebrand gained a natl platform on Breitbart thanks to Trump advisor Steve Bannon:

  • This is a thorough compilation on @dailykos of resources regarding Putin, Dugin, Spencer, Bannon, and Trump:

  • Key to understanding Durbin/Putin and Bannon/Trump: Their shared ideological goal is restoring white male supremacy a/k/a "TRADITIONALISM".
  • Please note: I'm NOT using "white male supremacy" in some sort of race or gender studies buzzword way here. This is their LITERAL goal.
  • Under traditionalist ideology, outgrowths of liberalism like sexual/racial equality, reproductive freedom, & same-sex marriage are anathema.
  • This is why conservatives Republicans like @davidfrum and @BillKristol speak out against Trump and his ilk. There's an ideological split.
  • United in their aversion to multiculturalism and liberalism, these so-called traditionalists reach out to one another across national lines.
  • However, while traditionalists might reach out across national boundaries, the reality appears to be Russia has played THE dominant role.
  • Much of what we perceive to be American fringe right wing content appears to originate from Russia's Dugin.
  • Anti-Muslim fear mongering? Dugin. Anti-liberalism? Dugin. Anti-Soros? Dugin. Satanic pedophile rings? Dugin. Swamp metaphors? Dugin.
  • It's as though Dugin threaded his arm right through Steve Bannon's orifices and into Trump's bottom to make the Donald a literal puppet.
  • Trump + Breitbart + viral false news written in Balkans & shared on FB + Twitter "alt right" & "alt left" social botnets = destabilization
  • Dugin's ideology was spread throughout the U.S. campaign season via a massive Russia propaganda and cyber warfare campaign.
  • I'm not saying the United States doesn't have its own native fractures. Racism and misogyny are thickly woven in our cultural fabric.
  • In war, you seek to exploit the weaknesses of your enemy. Putin poured *massive* resources into existing U.S. fissures to crack them open.
  • That's how I got started down this line of inquiry: I noticed on the DAY AFTER THE ELECTION that the MAGA botnets were gone. Gone. Poof.
  • I didn't think to make copies of my block lists beforehand because I didn't understand botnets. I thought even "trolls" were real people.
  • Like all vocal Clinton supporters, I was targeted hard over the last year. I blocked hundreds, perhaps thousands, of MAGA accounts.
  • When I noticed the MAGA silence the day after the election, I checked my block list. Only a few dozen of those accounts remained.
  • When I realized those accounts had been a weapon of either the Trump campaign itself or a supporting entity (i.e. Russia), I began digging.
  • A lot of the MAGA/grandma/veteran/Christian/IStandWithIsrael accounts? Botnets. A lot of the Bernie Bro/NeverHillary accounts? Botnets.
  • Many Americans on social media during this election thought we were fighting with each other when we were really being targeted by psy-ops.
  • To bring this back to Dugin: 1. Internally destabilizing the U.S. weakens us. 2. A weak U.S. is easier to overpower strategically.
  • Putting a Putin puppet in office as POTUS? That's the coup de grace. We must do everything legally in our power to stop it. #RESIST
  • Adding this by @Russian_Starr to my thread on Dugin and U.S. destabilization: 

CONTINUING MY HOUSE-CLEANING PROJECT...


Say you’re at a rally and you see a group of mostly white men, dressed alike and walking towards you. It’s a white supremacist group—but which one can it be? Now, thanks to the Topic Magazine article "Decoding the Language of Extremist Clothing", illustrated by Julia Rothman and written by Tasneem Raja, there's a handy dandy reference guide available to help you identify the threat! Whether it be a radicalized gaming knight of Kekistan, or one of the paradoxically disability-collecting chubbos from the Traditionalist Workers Party, this article is a virtual Audubon Society field guide to racist, hateful losers! 

***


In the spirit of knowing thine enemy, you might want to consider reading this rather interesting New York Magazine interview with former White House Trump-whisperer and all-around nasty piece of work, Steve Fucking Bannon. The interview is part of the mag's ongoing exploration of the legacy of the 2008 financial crisis, which includes "a new radical politics on both the left and the right; epidemics of opioid abuse, suicides, and low birthrates; and widespread resentment, racial and gendered and otherwise, by those who felt especially left behind." Be sure to check out the comments section when you're done with the interview! A number of highly intelligent readers make minced meat out of Bannon's arguments, which -- despite seeming somewhat reasonable and maybe even appealing upon first read -- are exposed for the bellowing cant that they are.

***

So you probably remember hearing all the brouhaha last month about "3D printable guns" and the "free speech" controversy about whether or not people should be allowed to post instructions for them online and whatnot. What's a liberty-loving freedom warrior to do?

The first thing to consider, as far as yer old pal Jerky is concerned, is the fact that these "guns" are mostly single-use, and thus, absolute crap. Why go through the trouble of printing a one-and-done handgun when America is already awash in excellent, re-usable firearms?

On the other hand, I've seen a lot of people on the far right corners of Reddit saying that it is every Qanon-believing, Democrat-despising, red-pilled (((establishment)))-hating Kekistani meme warrior's duty to download, then seed, the torrent for said firearm/file.

Well, I don't know about you folks, but it sure seems to me as though putting out a blueprint for a relatively harmless but attention grabbing single-use printable handgun, then sitting around and waiting to see who downloads and seeds those files, would be a great way to locate easy-to-trigger individuals with authority "issues", in order to make any future round-ups of said undesirables more easy and orderly.

So... best to think twice before doing something which I think is probably at LEAST as stupid and potentially self-destructive (if not as fucking disgusting and unmitigatedly evil) as downloading child pornography. 

***

Are you interested in learning The Crazy True Story of Trump Moscow? If so, then you should read the excellent and comprehensive Buzzfeed article, which begins:
All through the hot summer campaign of 2016, as Donald Trump and his aides dismissed talk of unseemly ties to Moscow, two of his key business partners were working furiously on a secret track: negotiations to build what would have been the tallest building in Europe and an icon of the Trump empire — the Trump World Tower Moscow. 
Talks to construct the 100-story building continued even as the presidential candidate alternately bragged about his relationship with Vladimir Putin and rejected suggestions of Russian influence, and as Russian agents worked to sway US public opinion on Trump’s behalf. 
While fragments of the Trump Moscow venture have trickled out — most recently in a report last night by Yahoo News — this is the definitive story of the Moscow tower, told from a trove of emails, text messages, congressional testimony, architectural renderings, and other documents obtained exclusively by BuzzFeed News, as well as interviews with key players and investigators. The documents reveal a detailed and plausible plan, well-connected Russian counterparts, and an effort that extended from spearfishing with a Russian developer on a private island to planning for a mid-campaign trip to Moscow for the presidential candidate himself. 
***


Regular readers of the DDD know that I believe Youtube to have long ago become little more than a Far Right propaganda platform, shoving loads of conservative, alt-right, and even unapologetically fascistic talking points down our collective throats, no matter what you do to get them to stop. I have personally lost count of the number of times I've tried to use their criteria selection interface to try and prevent them from recommending videos by the likes of Sargoon of Arcade, Styxenhammer666, Stefan Molyneux, Jordan Peterson, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum. But no matter what I do, there's always a "Stoopid Feminist is Stoopid!", or "SJW REKT by LOGIC!", or "BLM is NIGGER KKK!!!" video that manages to slither and slime its way into my recommendations.

With the above in mind, I am very grateful to Rebecca Lewis of Data & Society for doing the research and providing solid evidence to prove that no, it isn't yer old pal Jerky's imagination revving into paranoid overdrive; this is an actual phenomenon. And even though it may have more to do with algorithms than with any vast sinister conspiracy... the results are basically the same.

If you're interested in this topic (and you really, really should be), then you should definitely check out this Guardian article about the study, and then download and read the PDF of the study, itself.

***
If you've read and digested all of the above, and you still have room for more, then how about this article about how AI can tell what your sexuality and political leanings are based solely on facial recognition software, or this article about how researchers have found that smoking marijuana can cause earlier manifestations of serious mental illness, or maybe read this op-ed piece by Rob Tibbets begging right-wing politicians and pundits to stop using his daughter Mollie's corpse as a prop for their anti-immigration propaganda. This, of course, caused a gaggle of upset right-wing commentators (like Candace Owens) to declare that if the Tibbets family was not on board for a Far Right racist crackdown on Hispanics as mass revenge for the murder of their daughter, then their skulls should be used as bricks in Trump’s wall. Such loving people.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

MORE HOUSE-CLEANING AND SCRATCH-PAD CLEARING...

The Republicans' (and thus America's) "Fascism Problem" isn't a fever dream cooked up by some old hippies or blue haired pansexual campus coeds. It's very real, and in some cases, very in-your-face. Let Samantha Bee clue you in with this helpful little video presentation!


***
Remember back a couple weeks ago, when Preznit Trump revoked former CIA chief John Brennan's security clearance because he didn't like what the man had to say about how he was running the country? Of course you do. The constant churn of the international shit-storm that's been brewing ever since the greasy Beast slithered into the office that was stolen on his behalf makes an awful lot of background noise, it's true, but this particular treachery was the kind of act that leaves a lasting impression no matter what else might be going on at the time. 
The thing about it that really stuck with yer old pal Jerky, however, was that, in his press release about the situation, Trump accused Brennan of “erratic conduct and behavior”, of making “frenzied commentary”, and of making “wild outbursts on the Internet and television.” 

Talk about the pot calling the snowball black! Exactly how deaf to the sound of his own farts does Trump have to be to say such things and not realize that he's providing us all with a perfect, world class example of that favorite right-wing self-own tactic, projection? He's literally screaming into a mirror, shaking a fist at his own fucking shadow.

***

Another news nugget that speaks to the cancer gnawing away at the heart of the Spirit of the Age... Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and current official sower of calculated confusion on any of the dozens of illegalities in which Preznit Trump and his criminal enterprise are currently ensnared, sat down for an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo and... well... check out the transcript for yourselves:
CUOMO: I think it's a little early on that. And if fact [checking] is anything, we've never had anybody with the level of mendacity that he has. Not even close.
GIULIANI: It's in the eye of the beholder.
CUOMO: No, facts are not in the eye of the beholder.
GIULIANI: Yes it is -- yes they are. Nowadays they are. Truth is not Truth.
So there you have it. If you've ever wondered where whence that semi-permanent, cold, nauseous, flip-floppy feeling in the pit of your stomach came from -- that feeling like you can't tell which way is up anymore -- you need look no further.

***

I realize it's been a few weeks, and I realize that the story was only ever added to the ongoing media churn as a kind of flavor additive, to spice up the data meal one way if you're a conservative and another way if you're a liberal -- with only the Far Right/Fascists and Ultra Left loons making a feast of it -- but hopefully most of you will remember the Sarah Jeong controversy, in which the New York Times' latest tech section hire had some right-wing provocateurs dig up some (this again?!) "controversial tweets" that she'd made, ostensibly disparaging "white people", over the past half-decade or so.

I'm not going to bother going into much detail on the story itself, because it's quite obvious to anyone with at least half a functioning brain what happened here: A bunch of actual racist shit-lords made a bad faith effort to get Jeong fired from the Times by smearing her as a racist, using obviously sarcastic tweets that she'd posted in reaction to actual racist attacks that she'd endured on Twitter, and it didn't work. The Times immediately cottoned to what was up and shut that shit down. End of story (minus the still ongoing low level aftershock of whining from D-level Youtube accounts and the disappointed murmurs of sand-kicking incels clogging reddit and 4Chan and the comments sections of any newspaper that's been linked to by the Drudge Report over the last five years). See the link above for a pretty good rundown of what the assault on Jeong represents in terms of the Far Right's evolving War on Reality, itself.

However, if you will indulge me, I would like to spend just a tiny bit of time on one social observer's published reaction to this cultural event, and that would be the ever reliable Andrew "Give Phrenology a Chance" Sullivan, contributor for New York Magazine and gay conservative gadfly since forever. Hell, the man kicked off his "groundbreaking" political blog a mere TWO YEARS AFTER yer old pal Jerky began his run on the late, lamented Daily Dirt, so you know the chances are good that his will be a take worthy of your time! 

Sadly, you should have taken those odds, because Sullivan's piece, "When Racism is Fit to Print", for the Daily Intelligencer, isn't fit to wrap virtual fish in. 

First off, Sully pretends not to know that Jeong was engaging in a game of racist tit-for-tat, throwing a mutated form of the racism daily hurled her way by the angry, frustrated meat-whites right back in their puffy, squinched up faces, in order to make them see how THEY like it, especially when coming from an intelligent and creative young woman with a playful mean streak a mile wide. Note that I'm giving Sully the benefit of the doubt, here, and assuming that he knows he's full of shit on this count, but carrying forth with it for purely partisan point-scoring. After all, what conservative is a fan of the New York Times, right?

I mean, at one point, he seriously seems to be suggesting that there might be some insight to be gleaned by "replacing the word white" in Jeong's tweets "with any other racial group"! As if precisely this variety of honking racialist cant doesn't already make up a full two-thirds of all online communication! And as if that wasn't precisely what Jeong was/is reacting to in the FIRST fucking place!

And finally, I think it is also worth noting that despite reading dozens of "think" pieces on the Jeong "scandal", I have yet to encounter anything that even comes within shooting distance of the strawman constructs Sullivan conjures up here -- "Asians CAN'T be racist claim lefties!" -- nor have I noticed anyone in real life making such a claim. And I know a LOT of very gabby, opinionated lefties.

So Sully, please... a little more effort next time, okay luvvie?

***

So there's this former CIA guy who's got some opinions you might want to know about. His name is Michael Scheuer, and he thinks... well, why not let him speak for himself? Here goes...
As this week’s end, it seems likely that it is quite near time for killing those involved in the multiple and clearly delineated attempts to stage a coup d’├ętat against the legitimately elected Trump government and thereby kill our republic. 
Finally, this week saw a significant and quickening advance toward the moment when those millions of well-armed citizens who voted for Trump, and who have been abused or wounded by Democrats, their Antifa-thugs, and their thug-civil servants for exercising their franchise to elect Trump, cannot be, in good conscience, patient for much longer
Fortunately, they have in hand a long and very precise list of the names and photographs of those who hate and threaten them, their families, their way-of-life, their liberty, their livelihoods and their republic. No self-respecting and determined-to-remain-independent citizenry can let themselves forever be held hostage by thug-civil-servants like Strzok, Comey, McCabe, Page, and Rosenstein; worshipers of tyranny, like the Democratic members of Congress, the Clintons, the FBI, and the Obamas; apparent traitors like Brennan, Hayden, and Clapper; all of the mainstream media; and the tens of thousands of government-admitted-and-protected, violent, criminal, and illegal immigrants
American patriots have so far, praise God, been remarkably disciplined in not responding to tyranny and violence with violence. For now they must remain so, armed but steady. But the time for such patience is fast slipping away; indeed, that patience is quickly becoming an obviously rank and self-destructive foolishness. If Trump does not act soon to erase the above noted tyranny and tyrants, the armed citizenry must step in and eliminate them
It is, of course, far better if Trump does so, and I pray and believe he will. That said, the sheer, nay, utter joy and satisfaction to be derived from beholding great piles of dead U.S.-citizen tyrants is not one that will be missed if Trump does not soon do the necessary to save the republic. But if he fails, the citizenry must act to ensure that Hillary’s predictive words are proven correct. “If Trump wins,” she apparently said, “we will all hang.”
This is the same guy who used to head up the Osama bin Laden task-force up until 1999. So sleep well, America! All the best people have got things under control! On the other hand, if you feel that you just can't shake that spooky feeling you've got, and you're having a hard time keeping your eyes closed, then you might want to read Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone feature on Surviving America's Kill List, featuring the harrowing true-life story of citizen journalist (and bonafide American citizen) Bilal Abdul Kareem!
***

Monday, September 3, 2018

ANOTHER REPUBLICAN CRIMINAL!

Raw Story is reporting that Laura Riddick, a Republican state official in North Carolina, has been found guilty of six felony charges of "embezzlement by a public officer".

Riddick, who stole nearly one million dollars during her stint as Wake County Register of Deeds, will be spending up to seven years behind bars for her crimes, which she blames on a "bad childhood", which she says caused an undiagnosed, unnamed "mental illness" that forces her to "compulsively hoard money".

If the good folks who put together the DSM-5 have yet to christen Ms Riddick's peculiar new disorder, yer old pal Jerky would like to suggest calling it the Conservative Republican Asshole Syndrome, or CRAS for short.

No need to reimburse me, folks; it's enough for me just to know that I've helped.

Get the full story HERE.


Friday, August 31, 2018

WHAT HAS 14 WORDS & BEGINS WITH THE WORDS "WE MUST SECURE..."?

How about the headline on this page from the Department of Homeland Security's official website?

The 14 words in question, here, are...
"We Must Secure The Border And Build The Wall To Make America Safe Again"
...and NOT the following, well known White Nationalist slogan, often referred to as "The Fourteen Words":
"We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children"
Also of note, the penultimate paragraph of the above-linked DHS page contains an odd and clumsy use of the number 88:
"On average, out of 88 claims that pass the credible fear screening, fewer than 13 will ultimately result in a grant of asylum."
Of course, the letter H is the 8th letter of the alphabet, and contemporary Fascists/Nazis/Alt-Right Shitlords frequently use HH as coded shorthand for "Heil Hitler". 

Furthermore, this "HH" shorthand frequently appears directly alongside the number "14", which is short for the Fourteen Words. Hence the frequent appearance of 1488 or 14/88 tattoos or graffiti wherever such vermin might swarm.

So... does anybody out there think this is all just a kooky coincidence? Is the idea that the DHS/ICE is infiltrated by White Supremacist Nazis too far out for prime time? Or is it as obvious to y'all as it is to yer old pal Jerky what's going on, here?

Considering recent twists in the American national drama -- Latinos born near the Mexican border having their citizenship questioned, the Bank of America freezing accounts of "potential non-citizens" for the first time ever -- I think the time has come to admit to ourselves that some seriously evil fuckery is afoot. The New Fascist International conspiracy is in the midst of kicking their agenda into higher gear.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

FOUND FLOATING AROUND IN CYBERSPACE...

SIGNS OF IMPENDING TYRANNY!

If a tyrant does any of the following things, look out! These are warning signs that he or she might be making a move to topple a democracy and gain control.
  1. Demands total and personal loyalty from all appointees. 
  2. Organizes military parades and other choreographed shows of force. 
  3. Threatens to fire independent prosecutors who get too close to the truth. 
  4. Spreads conspiracy theories about “Deep State” forces seeking to oust them. 
  5. Refers to top-ranking military leaders as “my” generals. 
  6. Threatens to jail political opponents. 
  7. Claims to have won an election by a landslide even after losing the popular vote. 
  8. Stokes tensions abroad, such as trade wars and even the specter of nuclear war, to distract from efforts to consolidate power at home. 
  9. Circumvents the independent press and communicates directly with followers. 
  10. Turns the public against critical journalists or media outlets, calling them “deceitful” and “scum”. 
  11. Vilifies legislators and judges who are critical of the regime. 
  12. Repeatedly claims massive voter fraud in the absence of any evidence, in order to restrict voting in subsequent elections. 
  13. Repeatedly tells "big lies", causing the public to doubt the truth and to believe fictions that support the tyrant’s goals. 
  14. Blames crime on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foments public bias and hatred against them. 
  15. Threatens mass deportations, registries of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees. 
  16. Separates refugee children from their parents, and incarcerates all of them. 
  17. Attributes civil unrest to “enemies within”, and uses such events as an excuse to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties. 
  18. Appoints family members to high positions of authority. 
  19. Draws no distinction between personal property and public property, profiteering from public office. 
  20. Makes personal alliances with foreign dictators but expresses indifference if not defiance toward leaders of democracies. 
  21. Maintains a powerful propaganda arm that claims to be “fair and balanced” but only amplifies the tyrant’s lies and accusations.
SOUND LIKE ANYBODY YOU KNOW?

CLEANING HOUSE ~ STORIES I LIKED BUT DIDN'T GET TO SHARE

Okay, so, obviously, what with my reduced output over the past few months (due to many factors, including burnout, lethargy, paying work and a general sense of hopelessness), there have been a number of stories that I'd hoped to share with y'all via my blogs, but haven't. I keep track of these stories on a scratch-pad, where I list general topics and specific reports, op-ed pieces and essays. That scratch-pad has now grown intolerably long, so I'm going to be performing a purge over the next few blog posts here at the DDD, and also at Kubrick U, The Mediavore, and Useless Eater Blog (links available, page right).

Please forgive the lack of organization as we begin with Brian Beutler's op-ed piece for Cracked Magazine, titled The Crime Is Worse Than The Coverup, from which we get the lovely image above, and which begins...
On multiple occasions in 2016, and perhaps stretching back into the previous year, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign fielded solicitations from Russian spies and cutouts offering up stolen Democratic Party emails and other assistance in the election. 
At no point, so far as we know, did anyone working on the campaign report this pattern of behavior to the FBI. After Trump secured the Republican Party nomination, the FBI warned him and his advisers that Russians would try to penetrate their campaign, and asked them to alert law enforcement officials if and when they noticed anything suspicious. They said nothing. Since winning the election, Trump has gone to great lengths to protect Russia from the American intelligence community’s assessment that Russia subverted the election to help Trump and tried to shut down all efforts to determine his level of complicity in that subversion. 
Christopher Steele, by contrast, didn’t hesitate for a second to alert the FBI when, while working for the political intelligence firm Fusion GPS, he unearthed information that convinced him Trump was compromised, susceptible to Russian government blackmail, and conspiring with Russian spies to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. 
For his trouble, Republicans have tried to run down the former head of the MI6 Russia desk as a partisan operative and a criminal, without whom the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation would never have taken hold. Despite the fact that he has never testified before Congress, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) recently accused him of making false statements (presumably, they allege, to law enforcement officials) and referred him to the FBI for investigation.
It only gets better from that point on, containing a great deal of important information and excellent, eye-opening perspective. I urge you to read it and pass it along to any friends that you think could make good use of it. I've got it clipped and saved.

***

Next up, we have this important essay, entitled Yes, Polarization is Asymmetric, and Conservatives Are Worse, from The Atlantic, which hasn't exactly been covering itself in glory in recent months... but more about that later. For now, Norm Ornstein's essay about Pew's monumental new study (based upon over 10,000 in depth field interviews) shows how...
...in the mid- to late-1990s, we did not have anywhere near the level of public polarization or ideological or partisan animosity that we have now. In the public, this phenomenon has been much more recent (and is accelerating). But in the Gingrich era in Congress, starting in 1993, where Republicans united in both houses to oppose major Clinton initiatives and moved vigorously from the start of his presidency to delegitimize him, the era of tribalism started much earlier, while the ante was upped dramatically in the Obama years. The fact is that it was not public divisions on issues that drove elite polarization, but the opposite: Cynical politicians and political consultants in the age of the permanent campaign, bolstered by radio talk-show hosts and cable-news producers and amplified by blogs and social media, did a number on the public.
So, basically, "Bothsiderism" is most likely a result of media whoredom, prizing ratings over truth (and morality), and Republicans are really problematic, on a number of levels. Then of course there's always the issue of conservatives "working the ref", or complaining so constantly and at such high volumes about the "liberal bias" of the mainstream media that said media meekly bends over backwards to appease right-wingers and so as NOT to appear "liberal", which pushes the Overton Window ever further to the right, with the right-wingers never letting up, baying louder and louder at this phantom bias that now has ZILCH to do with reality.

And yet, tragically for the USA, it seems to have been a winning strategy for the worst of all possible elements. I suppose there's not much those of us for whom the above is plainly obvious to do, except to make sure people in our own personal circles understand the tactics being deployed against them, and understand the stakes involved. This article is probably a tick or two above "starter" level, but it's an important one for us seasoned news hounds to read and share with those we believe might benefit from reading it.

***

Seattle's The Stranger has long been one of the premiere big city alternative "free weeklies", and they continue to prove their value with excellent think pieces like Charles Mudede's Mass Shootings Reveal America Is A Civilization That's Reverted To Ritual Sacrifice. It begins:
The complete absence or uselessness of rational action to address the frequency of mass shootings in our society requires that we reexamine them in a completely different light. We cannot continue to see these deaths in the context of a pragmatic, civil debate about gun laws. That will tell us only a little, if anything at all. If you go on Twitter, you will find an endless stream of tweets with links to graphs and research that make it abundantly clear that mass shootings are very preventable. There is no mystery to their cause and persistence. But what if our society is not looking for a solution? What if it's the other way around: It fears the prevention of massacres? These are the kinds of things we now need to seriously consider.

The force that's regularly supplying Americans with bullet-ridden corpses might be much deeper and mostly forgotten, and so cannot be so easily recognized by common sense or the secular left. I propose the context that has greater explanatory power for the persistence of mass shootings in the US is religious superstition. We must stop going on and on about lacking laws that would protect our citizens; we must stop going on and on about how this or that politician has been bought. We are way beyond the point where such considerations are meaningful or productive. We must instead ask: To whom are all of these bodies being sacrificed, and why?
This is not easy reading, and it's bound to spark some intense reactions. But, as with so many of the challenges to which America and the Western World are being subjected, perhaps it requires of us to adopt a new kind of language, so as to more adequately comprehend and address. Where the lexicon of prescriptive social policy falls short, can the advanced linguistic technologies of existential phenomenology carry us closer to an answer? Yer old pal Jerky doesn't know, but he does know that, on a number of fronts, we seem to be running out of options. And as a result, many of us appear to be retreating into the relative safety and comfort of a new dark age.

Which brings us to...

***

...Bradley Babandir's overview of the Silicon Valley tentacle of the New Fascist International, as best exemplified by libertarian/Utopian billionaire vampire Peter Thiel, as revealed in the scathing new tome The Know-It-Alls; The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Power House and Social Wrecking Ball, by Noam Cohen (buy via this link so yer old pal Jerky gets a couple shekels in his beggin' cup). Even though it doesn't go quite as far as yer old pal Jerky does in identifying this faction as a de facto, knowing cohort of an incredibly dangerous emerging global conspiracy, it does some important dot-connecting... everything from the extremes of the transhumanistic "imagination", to their vision for a post-democratic technocracy, to their ongoing obsession with certain types of testable/computable/replicable IQ, etc. It begins:
THE PIT OF Peter Thiel’s ghoulishness may be bottomless, but scraping the sides for highlights is worthwhile. The vampiric impulses of Silicon Valley’s libertarian overlord combined with his endorsement of Donald Trump during the 2016 election make him look like a supervillain, but the really terrifying thing about Thiel is the reach of his tentacles and the number of people and companies his money and ideology have influenced. 
Noam Cohen, a former columnist for The New York Times, traces that legacy in The Know-it-Alls, a history of Silicon Valley through the people who shaped it, from John McCarthy, a pioneering midcentury AI researcher, to Mark Zuckerberg. Each of the men (they’re all men) in his focus does something essential to change the culture and economics of the technology start-up world, but this book has a long shadow on its pages. It could just as well have been organized “before Thiel” and “after Thiel.” Once he arrives, there is nothing he does not touch. 
... Cohen mostly gives his subjects the benefit of the doubt. ... This is often disappointing, especially when he deals with figures like Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates. The former’s awful treatment of workers comes tacked on at the end of his chapter, while the latter’s pervasive anticompetitive behavior is only mentioned later, in a chapter about Marc Andreessen. ... That all ends when he reaches Thiel. Cohen starts swinging and landing blows. Thiel is a hypocrite (fundamentally against government intervention in the business world, unless it’ll help him), an aggrieved figure in search of a grievance (the conservative magazine he started in college would, if no recent controversy was suitable for its purposes, concoct one), and a trolling commentator who believes, as he wrote in 2009, that “the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women […] have rendered the notion of a ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron.” Cohen’s knockout comes from tying Thiel’s worldview back to those who came before him. He lays it out in the book’s most important paragraph: 
“[C]ut through Thiel’s eccentricities and harsh language and you discover that Thiel is simply articulating the Know-It-All worldview as best he knows how. In Thiel’s ideas one finds Frederick Terman’s insistence that the smartest should lead, as well as his belief in using entrepreneurism and the market to introduce new technologies to the people. There is the hackers’ confidence that technology will improve society, as well as their suspicion of ignorant authorities who would try to rein in or regulate the best and brightest. There is the successful entrepreneur’s belief that the disruption that has made him fabulously wealthy must be good for everyone. The main difference between Thiel and his peers is that he acts forcefully and openly in support of his ideas, while they are inclined to be more cautious and circumspect.” 
This changes the conversation about how Thiel relates to his peers. Like the Republican Party members who more or less vote along the lines of President Donald Trump’s agenda but criticize his demeanor, the problem that his peers have with him is not that his beliefs matched with his power are destructive but that he says aloud what others merely think. Thiel believes that, as Cohen writes, “monopoly businesses like Google, Facebook, and Amazon serve as a welcome replacement for government.”
So, basically, Thiel isn't just the absolute worst, he's the absolute worst, empowered... by access to a bottomless pit full of money, a head full of dangerously wacky notions, and yet-to-be-released communications technology so cutting edge, it's indistinguishable from mind control. In other words... nothing to worry about!

***

A few more articles of note before I pinch this one off and start brewing up a new info-turd...


  • If you're having trouble coming to terms with the ideological flavors and the swiftly gelling formal contours of Cold War 2.0, then this Observer article by John Schindler -- Russia has an Ideology, and It's As Entrenched as Communism Ever Was -- does a pretty good job of explaining what so many old far lefties are having a difficult time understanding about contemporary Russia and (perhaps most dangerously) Vladimir Putin. Schindler's witty and memorable metaphors do more to help put things in their proper perspective than any half-dozen think tank white papers ever could. The fact that, once again, learned public intellectuals are confirming yet another element of my own still-developing "New Fascist International" conspiracy theory is small comfort, indeed.
  • From what was, up until far too recently, one of the last bastions of "legit" leftist journalism still clinging to the ridiculous notion that "the whole Russia thing" -- whether it be, specifically, their interference in the 2016 election, or Putin's global malfeasance and bad faith dealing, in general -- is somehow overblown, we get a mea culpa of sorts in Robert Mackey's Russian Propaganda Attempts to Sow Doubt Over Chemical Attacks In Syria. He should probably be asking his boss, Gutless Glenn Greenwald, but I'll still take this necessary correction: "Assad, a dictator by any definition, and his ally Putin are both seen as bastions of anti-U.S. resistance [by the left]. The leaps of logic that some on the left are engaging in, in order to vilify Syrian rebels and civilians in favor of these two leaders, are breathtaking." Kind of makes one wonder if Jimmy Dore is even capable of feeling shame at this point.
  • Here's another interesting take asking Why Are Some on the Left Falling for Fake News on Syria?, as published on Truthdig, and written by veteran global activist Sonali Kolhatkar.
  • For an even more in depth and detailed analysis of the situation, check out The Syria Campaign's report, Killing the Truth: How Russia is Fueling a Disinformation Campaign to Cover Up War Crimes in Syria