Thursday, November 30, 2017

UN-FRICKEN-BELIEVABLE

A moment that truly captures both the incredible, rank hypocrisy of the Republican party, as well as the diseased and dying Spirit of the Age.

CROAT WAR CRIMINAL SLOBODAN PRALJAK SCORES POSTHUMOUS ENDORSEMENT DEAL


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

KEITH OLBERMANN'S FINAL RESISTANCE VIDEO!

Thank you so much for your great work and your searing, uncompromising honesty, Keith. History will look kindly back upon your work here.

Monday, November 27, 2017

SUGGESTED READING LIST ~ NOV 27, 2017

This montage is exactly as honest and fair as most of Peterson's polemic!

In this article for Maclean's Magazine (it's kind of like Canada's version of TIME), Tabatha Southey asks the rhetorical question "Is Jordan Peterson the Stupid Man's Smart Person?" before offering up ample evidence to back up her conclusion that the answer to that question is a fervent FUCK YES. It begins:
University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson was in the news this week—and one imagines this makes the university sad. Peterson first made the news and became a belle of the alt-right when, in September 2016, he announced that he would not use a student’s preferred pronoun if he were asked to, except that he might if he felt the request was “genuine,” and no one had asked him that anyway. 
What that poor man has been through. 
Needless to say, in an economy as desperately short of leadership and ideas as the alt-right’s is, Peterson’s stock went through the roof. He currently has legions of fans hanging on his every YouTubed word; he’s now hauling in around USD $50,000 a month through crowdfunding. ...
“Postmodern neo-Marxism” is Peterson’s nemesis, and the best way to explain what postmodern neo-Marxism is, is to explain what it is not—that is, it is entirely distinct from the concept of “cultural Marxism.” 
“Cultural Marxism” is a conspiracy theory holding that an international cabal of Marxist academics, realizing that traditional Marxism is unlikely to triumph any time soon, is out to destroy Western civilization by undermining its cultural values. “Postmodern neo-Marxism,” on the other hand, is a conspiracy theory holding that an international cabal of Marxist academics, realizing that traditional Marxism is unlikely to triumph any time soon, is out to destroy Western civilization by undermining its cultural values with “cultural” taken out of the name so it doesn’t sound quite so similar to the literal Nazi conspiracy theory of “cultural Bolshevism.” 
To be clear, Jordan Peterson is not a neo-Nazi, but there’s a reason he’s as popular as he is on the alt-right.
What follows is a pretty methodical deconstruction of many of Peterson's most beloved tropes, and a convincing argument for why his plans to develop an AI that "warns" students and their parents of "postmodernist" or "Neo-Marxist" course content poses a far more insidious and direct threat to freedom of speech and thought on campus than him having to treat transgendered people with respect could ever be. The fact that the most substantial rebuttal Peterson's partisans have been able to mount against this article is that it was written by the widely despised ex-wife of the Kids in the Hall's Dave Foley is a pretty good indicator of the devastating accuracy of the article's portrayal of him and his rapidly congealing cult.

***

In a recent edition of the Strait Times, Crispin Startwell has published a bracing jeremiad titled "History, Totally Destroyed", about how the current complex of crises calls into question all previous modalities in the philosophy of history. This excerpt in particular caught my attention, and held it:
As all top intellectuals know, Hegel argued that history, in its essence, is the coming-to-self-consciousness of the Absolute; Marx said that it is the dialectical unfolding of the material conditions of production; Michel Foucault pointed out that it is a succession of "epistemes" (roughly, a body of common shared beliefs), each inscribing its own regime of power; Francis Fukuyama claimed it was over; and Jean Baudrillard said it never actually happened in the first place. 
Before these theories emerged, it was the Great Man view of history that dominated the field. "The history of the world is nothing but a biography of great men", wrote Thomas Carlyle. Or as Ralph Waldo Emerson had it: "It is natural to believe in great men. We call our children and our lands by their names. Their names are wrought into the verbs of language, their works and effigies are in our houses." On this view, the drivers of history are not races or classes or nations, but particular military geniuses, messiahs, kings, dictators, inventors, captains of industry, artists and saints. The Great Men swaggered onto the stage one after another, each capturing and conquering the Spirit of the Age. You will notice, of course, that the Great Man theory involved no women. This made perfect sense to the men writing the theory of history. 
But the true test of philosophies of history is history itself. I suggest that the Great Man Theory, though already battered by Marxism and feminism, isn't likely to survive the historical dialectic between Mr Trump and Mr Kim. These phenomena suggest the need for a completely fresh account of history itself, a new theory that is almost certainly my ticket to a long-anticipated MacArthur "genius" grant. Or it would be, if I could settle on a name for it. 
According to your mood, it might be termed the Jackass Theory of History, the Howling Mediocrity Account, the Colossal Bungler Hypothesis or the Blockhead Conjecture. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson writes in to suggest the Moron Theory, but this is insensitive towards those with intellectual disabilities.
Read the whole thing. It's short, and worth it.


***


The title of this Seattle Times article pretty much says everything you need to know about the gravity of the historical moment we're currently going through: "A Washington County That Went For Trump is Shaken as Immigrant Neighbors Start Disappearing". This news article reads like a fucking horror story. No, scratch that... it IS a horror story. Or, more accurately, a collection of horror stories about how ICE is operating now in Trump's version of America. Here's just one of those stories:
Agents also targeted Gladys Diaz, in an unusual way. 
According to her longtime boyfriend, who works in the seafood industry and spoke on the condition of anonymity, Diaz posted an online ad for a piñata she had made. The man who answered it asked to meet in the parking lot of a bank rather than the address she offered. 
It seemed a little suspicious. 
“Don’t go, Gladys,” her boyfriend yelled as she drove away that June day with their young daughters. She either didn’t hear or didn’t listen. 
Shortly afterward, while he did yard work around their apartment complex, he saw ICE agents walking toward him with his family. They were handing over the kids and taking Diaz away. His 12-year-old was crying. 
“Why you don’t take us all?” he asked. 
They said Diaz had a prior deportation order. A decade ago, she was caught sneaking across the border, sent back and prohibited from re-entering the U.S. for years, according to her boyfriend. She tried again the very next day, and made it. 
Diaz and two daughters, both born in the U.S., are now back in Mexico. 
“I miss my family. I need my family,” said her boyfriend, who plans to join them but wants to work a little longer to save money.

“Three, four, five, six times a day,” he said he calls to hear their voices.

When even the Trump-voting, John Wayne-worshiping town sheriff thinks something has gone drastically wrong, then you know the situation has gotten FUBAR.

***
QUOTE OF THE DAY

If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.

- You know things have well and truly gone sideways when yer old pal Jerky begins agreeing with former Dubya speechwriter David Frickin' Frum of all people. I'll be honest... it's been happening a lot lately, and it scares me. But hey, stopped clocks and all that jazz. By the way, if you're planning on buying his upcoming book, Trumpocracy, could you do it through this link please? I really need for people to start using my Amazon codes.

JASMIN MUJANOVIC ON THE NEW YORK TIMES' NAZI PUFF-PIECE

Political scientist Jasmin Mujanovic's Twitter take on the recent controversy over at the NYT is pretty on-point, so I thought I'd share it with y'all here as another Tweet-storm post. That existential crisis he's referring to? I call it the rise of the New Fascist International, and I hope to give a full accounting of my theories about this in the very near future. - Jerky

The NYT Nazi fluff text is only further proof that, at a fundamental level, large segments of the US intelligentsia do not appreciate the existential crisis now facing their republic. In short, they’re not actually concerned — and they really should be.

You can only really write pieces like that if you’re convinced that the violence which these extremists represent, and engineer, will never touch you. Likely because you’re white, wealthy, and mobile and they’ll probably target vulnerable, static “minorities”.

The form is very familiar to me from the Balkans. It was rampant during the 1990s: Karadzic gave interviews to Western media every other day, there’s hours of footage. In the meantime, he was murdering thousands. But hey, dead Bosnians are so “other” and his English was great.

Now the fascists are in the US, they’re in the UK, they’re in the EU and sober ur-journalists roll their eyes at the alarmists who tell you that the normalization of extremism, illiberalism, and violence never ends well — not even in established democratic regimes.

But trust your gut: trust that sick, queasy feeling you’ve had for months, trust your anxiety, and trust the fear you see in your neighbors eyes. All is not well, and everything won’t be OK. Not unless both ordinary citizens and responsible politicians act today.

Don’t go down the road where the normalization of hate speech leads to (more) deaths and then tit-for-tat reprisals. That’s when the wheels truly fall off and no think people piece will help then. And we’re too close to that as it is. 

Closer than the NYT can admit. 

/xx

Sunday, November 26, 2017

EPIC ERIC GARNER TWEET STORM RE: FBI & TRUMP/RUSSIA

Eric Garland is one of the most must-read voices on Twitter. His take on the AP bombshell re: the FBI "failing" to inform targets of Russian hacking is essential, and I concur with him 100% on every point. - Jerky

<ANALYSIS> 

The AP just revealed that throughout this year, it's been doing counterintelligence work. Here's what I think it means.

1. This was no average failure by the FBI. NatSec officials and politicians were hacked by a foreign power in an election year.

Not only did they apparently let this slide, they also downplayed the risk to the Clinton campaign - while an element in FBI then reopened the "emails" case on Clinton.

Sidenote/forecast: almost every Trump/Alt-Right talking point against Hillary covers for Trump.

"Her emails" = Russia's hacking emails 
"Crooked" = We're actual gangsters 
"It's rigged" = We're rigging it 

Now ask yourself what Pizzagate was.

Back to analysis: 

2. That AP had to chase this story down *months later* explains why we were caught off guard by this attack.

If there was an organized attempt to conceal this Russian hacking effort from @Comey, then it would be tough for him to brief Obama.

This could explain why it took until the last weeks of the campaign to perceive the full gravity of the situation.

And, then agents at FBI reopen the Hillary email case with only days to go. Chaffetz tweets it out. Credits the DIRFBI.

Note that the day after Mueller is appointed, Chaffetz announced he'd be leaving Congress early, exactly like nobody ever does.

Yeah, THIS fucking asshole...
It's probably safe to say that Chaffetz - who tried to obstruct this case - had a nasty conversation with someone.

3. If FBI Counterintel was obscuring the emails, perhaps there were other failures as well.

And if that failure to investigate, analyze, and report was widespread, then Comey and Mueller have been SPRINTING to catch up.

That the investigation has taken ONLY a year before indictments would then be a Herculean, if overdue, task.

4. We should never get pantsed like this again in our lifetimes.

5. The rest of the story is going to make people angry enough, I suspect, to provide ample motivation to do better. 

</ANALYSIS>



Friday, November 24, 2017

SUGGESTED READING LIST ~ NOV 24, 2017

...and his transition into literal cult leader is now complete.
Over at VOX, David Roberts' article America is Facing an Epistemic Crisis (don't let the big fancy word spook you) explores the terrifying disconnect between a growing number of movement conservatives and the very notion of objective, consensus reality. He also checks out some of the latest developments in Far Right propaganda techniques in their ongoing War on Reality. It begins thusly:
Over at the Gothamist, Jake Offenhartz has an astounding and richly symbolic storyabout the latest bit of “fake news” burped up by the alt-right. 
At Columbia University on Monday, alt-right self-promoter Mike Cernovich gave a speech to College Republicans. Other students showed up to protest. And then some alt-right members in attendance, posing as protesters, unfurled this banner:


The banner has a NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) logo on it, making it look like the protesters are defending pedophilia. Ha ha. 
Cernovich grabbed the image off Twitter, stripped it of context, and sent it bouncing around the right-o-sphere. When Offenhartz reported the copyright violation, Twitter removed the photo from Cernovich’s account. That led the alt-right to cry censorship, which led to more publicity for the photo, which led, in the end, to thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of conservatives believing that students of Columbia University were openly marching in favor of pedophilia. 
Basically, the alt-right tricked itself into believing even more stupid, wrong things. Burn, I guess?
This article goes on to cover some incredibly important ground before addressing the rhetorical question of its subtitle: "What if Mueller proves his case and it doesn't matter?" Riviting, vital stuff. Give it a read and a good hard think.

Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about the above-mentioned Columbia University stunt by alt-right provocateurs, the pedophilia-obsessed "Weird" Mike Cernovich and his co-conspirator , Jack "Rape Melania" Posobiec, you can read this Gothamist account by Jake Offenhartz, the photographer who snapped the image Cernovich and Posobiec appropriated for their sick and twisted purposes. For even more information, check out this New York Magazine account, which asks, with just a hint of incredulous exasperation:
How do you run a country in which 30 or 35 percent of the population believes that Democrats ran a secret child sex ring out of a pizza parlor, that ISIS controls certain towns in the Midwest, and that Columbia students are openly marching in defense of pedophilia? Where does all this madness drag us?
***

Speaking of Far Right hit-jobs, how are you enjoying the orchestrated effort to transform the public image of the Senate's most genuinely humane and gifted centrist legislators in decades into that of a sex-crazed groper and a penis-criminal on par with the likes of Judge Roy Moore, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey? Pretty great days we're living in, aren't they?

Anyway, just in case you're not quite 100 percent on the origins of this effort, along comes Erin L. to explain how “The Alt-Right Propaganda Machine is Winning Because Americans Insist on Being Stupid: A Timeline of The Al Franken Scandal”. First, she writes:
Al Franken is not the first sacrificial lamb — and definitely won’t be the last — as Americans refuse to acknowledge or take action against the fine-tuned Propaganda Machine that is omni-present on our social media platforms.
Then, she charts:


And then, she continues:
America has its very own Joseph Goebbels, yet we seem to be either too ignorant to history, or too ignorant to technology, to acknowledge and deal with the massive propaganda machine that’s been assembled over the last 2 years here in America. Al Franken is just the latest casualty, and there will be more. 
It’s disturbing to see Americans still falling for the same dirty tricks we fell for the entire 2016 election season. We have the benefit of hindsight now and a cavalry of expert citizens educating us about propaganda and how to counteract it. Yet time and again, we are let down. Our media fails us. In their desperation for clicks they hop on any bandwagon that appears lucrative. And our people fail each other. They suspend critical thinking skills to line up on “sides” that don’t even truly exist. 
So let’s use this past week’s Al Franken “scandal” as an illustration of the latest pizzagate-style propaganda hit job against our common senses. These manufactured “news stories” always follow the same distribution and amplification process, with few (but detectable) variables.
She then goes into excruciating detail about the mechanisms, personalities, technologies and modalities involved in the New Fascist International's New Media propaganda offensive. Bookmark this magnificent effort, and spread it around to all your friends whom you think are capable of comprehending and/or counteracting these efforts.

***
Speaking of orchestrated take-downs aimed at destroying the reputations and effectiveness of our most eloquent, knowledgeable, and important voices of opposition and resistance, you may have noticed that long-time Daily Dirt favorite Matt Taibbi is having his name dragged through the slime-pit these days. This time, it consists of literal rape-apologist/promoter Mike Cernovich (him again?!) accusing Taibbi of rape, based on a clearly satirical excerpt from a decade-old book about his tenure at the Moscow-based alternative bi-weekly tabloid, The eXile.

The claims are complete and utter bullshit. However, considering the current media-fueled mass hysteria centered on "sexual assault", Taibbi's ability to defend himself has been severely curtailed. Still, his efforts in this regard are well worth reading.

But even more important than Taibbi's own apology-tinged explanation is Alayne Fleischmann's definitive, 21-page Open Letter on the subject, which lays bare just exactly how flimsy of a construct this "Matt Taibbi, Sex Pest" narrative really is. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

THE LAST HONEST MAN AT FOX NEWS

Watching FOX News' own Shep Smith go against his own employer's party line in order to demolish the absolutely ridiculous Uranium One conspiracy theory is a thing of beauty.


Monday, November 6, 2017

ALT RIGHT FRAUDSTERS ATTEMPT TO TIE CHURCH SHOOTER TO "ANTIFA"

The unparalleled evil of the New Fascist International continues to unveil itself on social media.

This time, Russian bots are in the midst of a massive, desperate, concerted and centrally controlled effort - using falsified mock-ups of the Texas church gunman's deleted Facebook page - to somehow connect the shooter to "antifa".

Here are a few Twitter masters who have begun to figure out what's going on. Follow them and check back regularly to learn more.





Sunday, November 5, 2017

EXCELLENT SHORT EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS

Aside from being educational and interesting, if you familiarize yourself with the information contained within this video, you will be immunized against the facile (and yet often still effective) propaganda lies and bad faith "debating style" of conservative movementarians and other creatures of the Far Right. 


Our next video is a chilling short film called A Night at the Gardens, and you can find out more about it at The Intercept.