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SNOPES ON Project Veritas’ Election 2016 ‘Rigging’ Videos

Project Veritas’ Election 2016 ‘Rigging’ Videos
James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released four 2016 election-related videos supposedly depicting rampant election fraud and misconduct on the part of Democrats.

Kim LaCapria
https://www.snopes.com/news/2016/10/18/project-veritas-election-videos/

In October 2016, Project Veritas released a series of videos that they alleged demonstrated misconduct, impropriety, and vote “rigging” on the part of Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff or other Democrats.

Project Veritas’ YouTube channel displayed four “undercover” videos released in October 2016. The first video involved a surreptitiously recorded conversation between a covert operative for Project Veritas and Manhattan Board of Elections Commissioner Alan Schulkin at a December 2015 Christmas party. In the clip, Schulkin surmised voter ID would prevent voter fraud and discussed the possibility of “bussing” voters to polling places:

The second video purportedly evidenced a culture of ambient misogyny at a Clinton field office, framed as a response to concurrent controversy over lewd remarks by Donald Trump captured on tape in 2005:

The third video involved a hidden recording of Democratic candidate Russ Feingold opining that Hillary Clinton “might issue an executive order” pertaining to guns:

The fourth and most controversial video purportedly depicted evidence that the Clinton campaign’s field offices were tampering with Republican voter registrations and conspiring to incite violence at Trump rallies:

The videos are, as is typical of O’Keefe’s, work somewhat of a gish gallop, comprising a constellation of allegations and assertions that is virtually impossible to fact check without complete clips of the involved conversations. Nearly all the videos used stitched-together, out-of-context remarks with no indication of what occurred or what was discussed just before and after the included portions.

The framing and style of videos created by James O’Keefe is well known due to his 2009 “sting” in which he and accomplice Hannah Giles visited ACORN offices and pretended to be seeking advice on how to run an illegal business that included the use of underage girls in the sex trade. The resulting videos — which were edited to create the impression that O’Keefe and Giles had spoken to ACORN representatives while dressed as a pimp and prostitute — dealt that organization a mortal blow before reports publicizing the deception in O’Keefe’s videos came to light:

How quickly things seem to fall apart when James O’Keefe is the person who put them together.

O’Keefe’s incriminating ACORN video was shown to have been heavily edited — neither he nor Hannah Giles were actually in pimp and prostitute get-up when they spoke to ACORN employees, for example — and no criminal prosecutions of ACORN followed. While not letting ACORN off the hook for showing “terrible judgment” in the video, California’s then-attorney general Jerry Brown noted after an investigation into the tapes and the organization that “sometimes a fuller truth is found on the cutting room floor.”

Those same words now seem applicable to the latest O’Keefe sting, which further tarnished NPR’s reputation and took down its CEO. As we noted, Glenn Beck’s conservative website, The Blaze, was first to report on discrepancies between the first edited eleven-and-a-half minute video released on the Project Veritas website and a later, unedited two-hour version … NPR media reporter David Folkenflik addressed the dubious editing on Morning Edition and in a written report for NPR’s website. Folkenflik reviewed the two tapes himself, along with some NPR colleagues and outsiders like The Blaze’s editor-in-chief Scott Baker and Poynter’s Al Tompkins. They home in on many of the same problems The Blaze pointed out. And they basically come to the same conclusion: the tape is still a problem, but the impression it leaves is different.

“I tell my children there are two ways to lie,” Tompkins said. “One is to tell me something that didn’t happen, and the other is not to tell me something that did happen. I think they employed both techniques in this.”

Columbia Journalism Review reiterated assessments and warnings about O’Keefe’s methods in a 2011 piece targeting NPR. That article noted that the time-consuming nature of fact-checking (particularly when source material is obscured) has led to Project Veritas efforts skating past cursory review:

From where might we have learned such a lesson? From video scandals past. Think ACORN and think Shirley Sherrod: job- and organization-crippling scandals in which the media blindly aided and abetted. Note too that O’Keefe is a political point-scorer, and here he is scoring from a soft-target.

We knew all of this, and yet few of us slowed down. Including the NPR brass.

It is telling that The Blaze was the first to point out O’Keefe’s context-stripping editing and that its report came out two days after O’Keefe’s video release. (And, yes, we at CJR should have been doing just as The Blaze did, searching for the discrepancies they found.) It’s telling because, as The Blaze showed, it takes time to vet a source.

We can only hope that, next time, the order in which this scandal and others like it have unfolded — headlines and drama first; reporting and vetting later — is reversed. Given the pattern that just repeated itself, we’re not optimistic.

The Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) organization also regularly covered O’Keefe’s efforts in 2011 and 2012, lamenting how often the details of the purported stings are misreported before being thoroughly investigated:

USA Today has a long piece by Martha Moore about video hoax artist James O’Keefe’s NPR project. The article does a pretty good job of running down the deceptions in O’Keefe’s video. That’s good. This, however, is not:

… The sting’s impact was magnified by the quick dissemination-without-scrutiny that is a hallmark of Internet-driven media.

O’Keefe’s video has nothing to do with muckraking. And please don’t blame the Internet for the fact that journalists apparently can’t be bothered to care whether a source is reliable.

From NBC Nightly News, courtesy of reporter Lisa Myers:

We last saw O’Keefe wearing a fur coat and playing a pimp when he managed to take down the liberal group ACORN.

No we didn’t … As should be well-known by now, O’Keefe used footage of himself wearing a “pimp” costume in his ACORN videos — but didn’t wear the ridiculous costume during his “undercover stings.” Media accounts acted as though he did, though — it took a lot of effort to get the New York Times to finally admit its errors on this count.

If reporters don’t know these facts, they’re bound to get fooled by O’Keefe again.

After his fraudulent ACORN videos, the lesson media should have learned about right-wing “citizen journalist” James O’Keefe is not to trust him. But they didn’t, so here we are with his NPR stunt, which allegedly shows NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller saying mean things about the Tea Party in a meeting with phony Muslim Brotherhood-connected donors.

But it appears that, once again, O’Keefe’s videos are not be what they seem. The first serious questions about them were raised on (I swear!) The Blaze, a Glenn Beck-affiliated website. Over there, Scott Baker pointed to a few problems. In one part of the video, NPR‘s Schiller seems to laugh about the phony Muslim group’s position on Sharia law. Baker says it’s out of context.

NPR has done at least two reports on the video. It’s not quite a Shirley Sherrod moment — where the right-wing video was edited to totally turn her message around — but it’s clear that things aren’t exactly what they first seemed. O’Keefe’s history should give media outlets serious reservations about taking him at face value on anything … which goes to show you that the argument that the media is tilted to the left remains totally unconvincing.

As Exhibit A, look at James O’Keefe, who famously and proudly passed off his partner as a prostitute while secretly videotaping ACORN staffers. Who in the debate over O’Keefe’s work took the position that because the colleague was not actually a prostitute, the entire project was unethical and therefore all of his videotapes should be ignored? The actual objection to O’Keefe’s work was that he deceived the public — misleadingly editing his footage to create false impressions, including the popular delusion that O’Keefe had gone into ACORN offices wearing an outlandish Superfly costume. Nevertheless, he got overwhelmingly positive coverage from right-wing and centrist news outlets alike, with the result that his mendacious reporting had the successful result of helping to bring ACORN down.

In a 2011 op-ed, a Washington Post writer laid out the reasons why videos released by Project Veritas should initially sound numerous ethical alarms:

It is now clear that O’Keefe’s editing of the raw video from his interview with NPR’s top fundraiser, Ron Schiller, was selective and deceptive. The full extent of this distortion was exposed by a rising conservative Web site, the Blaze. O’Keefe’s final product excludes explanatory context, exaggerates Schiller’s tolerance for Islamist radicalism and attributes sentiments to Schiller that are actually quotes by others — all the hallmarks of a hit piece … In this case, O’Keefe did not merely leave a false impression; he manufactured an elaborate, alluring lie.

Interest in the four current Project Veritas videos has run high on social media. Politico addressed them from the perspective of legality, such as whether Project Veritas violated the law in Florida by ostensibly not adhering to the state’s wiretapping laws. The article also included a statement from Florida State Democratic Party spokesman Max Steele regarding the allegations about voter registrations:

According to Max Steele, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party, Mao or anyone else would lose their jobs for destroying voter-registration forms.

“Sexual assault and harassment, and destruction of voter registration forms, are serious offenses,” Steele said in a written statement. “There is no question that a staff member who engaged in this kind of behavior would be immediately terminated, and we are investigating the claims. Remarks like these do not represent the Florida Democratic Party and are completely inappropriate.”

The video neither shows nor alleges that anyone affiliated with Clinton’s campaign actually destroyed any forms. Florida Democrats are surpassing Republicans in signing up voters. The state party has submitted 503,000 voter registration forms for this election; the state Republican Party only 60,000. The Florida Democratic Party said it trains volunteers on proper handling of the registration forms and tracks the documents to make sure none is destroyed in violation of state law.

Under state law, a “person may not knowingly destroy, mutilate, or deface a voter registration form or election ballot or obstruct or delay the delivery of a voter registration form or election ballot.” The third-degree felony carries a maximum five-year-prison term and $5,000 fine.

However, the video itself could constitute a third-degree felony on the part of Project Veritas because of Florida’s law that requires consent before someone is recorded. A person must give explicit consent or give “implied consent” by continuing to talk after being told he or she is being recorded.

As the piece noted, the “rigging” clip and claims of voter registration form destruction did not stem from activity surreptitiously recorded by Project Veritas. Instead, the viral video simply depicts an operative of the organization attempting to bait campaign workers into “admitting” they would tolerate such behavior. And as with the video involving Manhattan Board of Elections Commissioner Alan Schulkin, what Project Veritas’ targets appeared to be doing was going along with leading questions rather than disputing them.

Schulkin himself provided comment to that effect, telling the New York Post that he had played along with a young woman he described as a “nuisance”:

The videographer asked point-blank, “You think they should have voter ID in New York?”

Schulkin responded, “Voters? Yeah, they should ask for your ID. I think there is a lot of voter fraud.”

Schulkin defended his videotaped remarks, with slight revisions.

“I should have said ‘potential fraud’ instead of ‘fraud,’” he said.

But he reiterated his support for a voter ID requirement.

He recalled a woman asking him a lot of questions the night he was recorded.

“She was like a nuisance. I was just trying to placate her,” he said.

The October 2016 releases weren’t Project Veritas’ first foray into the 2016 elections and the political climate of the day. In March 2016, O’Keefe infamously bungled an attempted “investigation” by failing to hang up his phone after calling a target (thereby exposing his plot to those whom he was trying to fool). A May 2016 New Yorker article about that aborted sting examined the forces behind Project Veritas and the diminishing impact of deceptive videos:

Many O’Keefe operations, however, have fallen flat, including his repeated efforts to prove that voter-identity fraud is pervasive. “It seems like most of the fraud O’Keefe uncovers he commits himself,” Richard Hasen, a professor of election law at the University of California, Irvine, says. A sting aimed at Hillary Clinton was considered especially feeble. Veritas operatives persuaded a staffer at a rally to accept a Canadian citizen’s money in exchange for a Hillary T-shirt — a petty violation of the ban on foreign political contributions. Brian Fallon, the communications director for the Clinton campaign, says, “Project Veritas has been repeatedly caught trying to commit fraud, falsify identities, and break campaign-finance law. It is not surprising, given that their founder has already been convicted for efforts like this.”

It may be that the shock value of such exposés is diminishing. A recent series of sting videos against Planned Parenthood, created by a group called the Center for Medical Progress, involved deceptions so devious — including an attempt by undercover operatives to buy fetal tissue — that the campaign backfired. Pro-choice activists united in anger at the sting’s perpetrators, and a Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing and indicted the C.M.P.

Project Veritas’ October 2016 election-related sting videos (embedded above) reveal tidbits of selectively and (likely deceptively edited) footage
absent of any context in which to evaluate them. Unless his organization releases the footage in full, undertaking a fair assessment of their veracity is all but impossible.

Lynching the Past

Lynching the Past
By Chris Hedges
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/lynching-the-past/

JONESBORO, Ga.—I boarded the Gone With the Wind Tour bus outside the train depot built in 1867 to replace the depot burned during the Civil War. The building now houses the Road to Tara Museum. It has displays of “Gone With the Wind” movie memorabilia including dolls of Mammy, played in the film by Hattie McDaniel, and the pantalettes and green hat worn by Vivien Leigh, who played Scarlett O’Hara.

Rick, the bus driver, switched on the audio track, written and narrated by a local historian, Peter Bonner. We listened to the familiar story of the noble South and its “Lost Cause.” We heard about the courage of the Confederate soldiers in Jonesboro who fought gallantly on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, 1864, in a failed effort to block the Union Army from entering Atlanta. We were told of the gentility and charm of the Southern belles. We learned that the war was fought not to protect the institution of slavery but the sanctity of states’ rights. Finally, we were assured that the faithful slaves, the “mammies,” “aunties” and “uncles,” loved their white owners, were loved in return and did not welcome emancipation.

That this myth persists and perhaps has grown as the country polarizes, often along racial lines, means that whole segments of the American population can no longer communicate. Once myth replaces history there is no way to have a rational discussion rooted in verifiable fact. Myth allows people to deny who they are and the crimes they committed and continue to commit. It is only by confronting the past that we can end the perpetuation of these crimes in other forms.

When loyalty to the tribe is more important that truth, fact or justice—a tribalism on display in the hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh—an open society is extinguished. Reparations for African-Americans are not only just, they are the only way we as a nation, as with Germany’s reparations to the Jews, can build a shared history based on truth, atone for the crimes of the nation and reverse the legacies of white supremacy. The Southern cause, as Ulysses S. Grant wrote in his laconic memoirs, was “one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.”

David Blight in “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” documents that in the decades after the war whites in the South and the North furiously rewrote the history of the conflict. “As long as we have a politics of race in America, we will have a politics of Civil War memory,” Blight notes. The root cause of the war, the need to emancipate 4 million people held in slavery, was erased, he said, and replaced with the “denigration of black dignity and the attempted erasure of emancipation from the national narrative of what the war was about.” As W.E.B. Du Bois lamented in his book “Black Reconstruction,” which looked at the brief postwar period, from 1865 to 1877, when African-Americans were given some political space in the South to resurrect their lives, “little effort [was] made to preserve the records of Negro effort and speeches, action, work and wages, homes and families. Nearly all of this has gone down beneath a mass of ridicule and caricature, deliberate omission and misstatement.”

The Civil War, as portrayed in novels and films such as “Gone With the Wind,” histories such as “The Civil War” by Shelby Foote and television programs such as Ken Burns’ documentary series on the conflict, is usually reduced to stories about the heroic self-sacrifice and courage exhibited by the soldiers from the North and the South who fought as brother against brother. The gruesome suffering, widespread looting and rape and senseless slaughter are romanticized. (For every three soldiers who died on a battlefield, five more died of disease, and, overall, 620,000 Americans, 2 percent of the country’s population, perished in the war.) Meanwhile, the far more important struggle, the struggle of black people to rise from bondage to be free, is effectively eclipsed in these narratives of white self-pity and self-exaltation.

“Gone With the Wind,” the 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell, has sold over 30 million copies worldwide and, according to one survey, is the second favorite book among Americans, after the Bible. The 1939 film version of the book is the highest-grossing movie ever, in inflation-adjusted dollars. The book and film are unapologetic celebrations of historical myth, historical erasure and white supremacy.

The Lost Cause romance and veneration of Confederate military leaders have a powerful hold on white imaginations, especially among those for whom economic and political marginalization is becoming more pronounced. The myth of the Confederacy resembles the retreat into a fictional past I saw in Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War, an ethnic conflict that lasted from 1992 to 1995. That retreat gave Yugoslavs—whether Serb, Muslim or Croat—who had been cast aside by economic collapse and a failed political system manufactured identities that were rooted in a mythologized past of glory, moral superiority and nobility. It allowed them to worship their own supposedly unique and innate virtues. These fantasies of an idealized past were accompanied by the demonization of opposing ethnicities, a demonization used by demagogues to fuel the hatred and violence that led to a savage war.

“He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country,” White House chief of staff and former Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly said last year of the Confederate military commander, Robert E. Lee, a slave owner. “It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today.” Kelly blamed the Civil War on “the lack of an ability to compromise,” adding that “men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

During my bus ride in Georgia, a woman on the audio guide impersonated Scarlett O’Hara as music from the 1939 movie played in the background: “Now y’all sit back and enjoy this journey back into a time of cavaliers, ladies fair, and cotton fields—called the Old South.”

The theme of the tour could be summed up as “ ‘Gone With the Wind’ accurately portrays life in the South during and after the Civil War.” Over and over, incidents and characters in the novel and film were related to actual events and people. Nowhere was this more pernicious than in the portrayals of black men and women who were enslaved.

“I learned that a black servant 144 years ago so loved her ‘masters’ that she requested to be buried in their family plot. … And when I learned that her masters willingly allowed such a burial request, I had to conclude that there must have been a greater bond, perhaps a loving bond of slave for master, and master for slave,” Bonner writes in his thin book “Lost in Yesterday,” which is sold in the Road to Tara Museum. “The unique and often misunderstood relationship has been presented throughout fiction and the entertainment media, in my opinion, in a multitude of unfair portrayals.”

Bonner goes on to argue that the slaves in the book and the film—Mammy, Pork, Prissy and Big Sam—all supporters of the Confederacy and loyal to the O’Hara family, represent a true picture of many, maybe most, blacks in the antebellum South. He cites the small headstone at the feet of Philip and Eleanor Fitzgerald in the local cemetery that reads “Grace, Negro servant of the Fitzgeralds” and insists “that Grace was honored as a family member.”

That Grace was given no last name on the stone and was buried, like a pet, at the feet of those who owned her seems to escape Bonner. Did Grace have a family? A mother? A father? Brothers? Sisters? Grandparents? Aunts? Uncles? Cousins? A husband? Children of her own? Or had they been sold by her beloved owners?

We stopped outside the 1839 Stately Oaks plantation house, which originally sat on 404 acres before being moved into the city. It is now part of the Margaret Mitchell Memorial Park. The mansion hosts white re-enactors in period costumes, including Confederate uniforms, the equivalent of re-enactors dressed in SS uniforms giving cheery tours of Auschwitz.

In squalid, overcrowded shacks outside Stately Oaks, children were born, lived and died enslaved. They spent a lifetime engaged in hard labor, misery and poverty. They watched in agony as mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers were sold off, never to be seen again. They lived in constant fear and humiliation. They were beaten, chained, whipped, castrated and sometimes shot or hanged. The male slave masters routinely raped black girls and women, sometimes in front of their families, and often sold their mixed-race children.

“Like the patriarchs of old,” Mary Chesnut, a white South Carolinian, confided in her diary in March 1861, “our men live all in one house with their wives and concubines; and the mulattoes one sees in every family partly resemble the white children. Any lady is ready to tell you who is the father of all the mulatto children in everybody’s household but her own. Those, she seems to think, drop from the clouds.”

The Southern tradition, as James Baldwin pointed out, “is not a tradition at all.” It is “a legend which contains an accusation. And that accusation, stated far more simply than it should be, is that the North, in winning the war, left the South only one means of asserting its identity and that means was the Negro.”

The ability to disregard the horror of slavery, to physically erase its reality, and to build in its place a white fantasy of goodness, courage and virtue speaks to the deep sickness within American society. Most Confederate monuments were erected under the leadership of the Daughters of the Confederacy from 1890 to 1920, a time when the terror of lynching by the Ku Klux Klan was at its peak. These statues were designed to romanticize white supremacy and divide blacks into good and bad “negros.” There are no statues to Reconstruction governors and senators or black political leaders, not to mention the leaders of slave revolts such as Nat Turner or Denmark Vesey. The few Confederate generals, such as James Longstreet, who supported black rights after the war are not memorialized, nor are the 186,000 black soldiers—134,111 conscripted from slave states—who served in the Union Army. The historian James Loewen calls the South “a landscape of denial.”

“Public monuments,” the historian Eric Foner writes, “are built by those with sufficient power to determine which parts of history are worth commemorating and what vision of history ought to be conveyed.”

One of the most outrageous public celebrations of white supremacy is Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta. Carved in the gray stone are massive figures of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and the generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The Confederate leaders, all mounted on horses, hold their hats over their hearts. The carving covers more than 1.5 acres of rock face and rises 400 feet. It is the largest bas-relief in the world. It is also the most visited site in Georgia.

William Faulkner published “Absalom, Absalom,” his searing condemnation of slavery and the Old South the same year Mitchell published “Gone With the Wind.” The hate-filled slave owner and Confederate veteran Thomas Sutpen in Faulkner’s novel, unlike the characters in “Gone With the Wind,” is “demonic evil.” Sutpen, who engages in miscegenation, buys his slaves “with the same care and shrewdness with which he chose the other livestock—the horses and mules and cattle.” Faulkner understood “the past is never dead. It’s not even past,” that it is subject to constant revision by those seeking to justify and hide their crimes. He warned that the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves lead to moral squalor and self-destruction.

The tour bus stopped at Patrick Cleburne Memorial Cemetery, which holds the remains of some 1,000 Confederate soldiers who died in the Battle of Jonesboro. Most are unidentified. The walkway is laid out in the shape of a Confederate flag. A Confederate flag flies at the entrance.

“In 1872, the state of Georgia pays Stephen Cars, a local cabinetmaker, to rebury the Southern soldiers’ remains and place them in the Patrick Cleburne Memorial Cemetery here,” the audio recording said. “Mr. Cars did not bury over a thousand soldiers by himself. Mr. Cars had a slave named Tom who left with a Yankee captain after the Battle of Jonesboro. When the war was over, Tom returned to Mr. Cars’ house asking for his job back. It was in 1872 that Tom and Mr. Stephen Cars reburied the Confederate soldiers in this cemetery. I told this story to the state of Georgia building authority years ago, they oversee the cemetery, and they remarked that Tom was very similar to the O’Hara slave Big Sam.”

The bus paused in front of a 10-room green house built in 1880 that once belonged to the president of Middle Georgia College.

“Under Reconstruction, five Southerners were not allowed to meet together without a federal marshal present,” Bonner said on the audio guide. “In ‘Gone With the Wind,’ meetings were held in secret. In Jonesboro, there were those secret meetings that dealt with the issues the town had to deal with, including the violence in shantytown. Shantytown was a real location in Jonesboro and many other cities that had a large population of former slaves who are without a job or a home. When this house was being restored in 1995, it was found to have a secret room in the attic, believed to have been used for those secret meetings. There was also a ladder in the wall leading to the cellar. In the cellar, people believed they had found a tunnel. However, upon further research, they found out it was not a tunnel but a bomb shelter where the city fathers planned to store the county records if and when they got back to war” (meaning if and when they resumed the fight against the Union).

It is a safe bet that this house was also a meeting place for the heavily armed goons of the Ku Klux Klan, who rode four abreast at night through the Jonesboro streets to terrorize the blacks in “shantytown.” Over 4,000 people were lynched between the end of the Civil War and World War II in the United States. Georgia had the second highest number of lynchings, with 589. Only Mississippi, with 654 murders, had more.

Lynching was a popular public spectacle in Georgia that could last for hours and included sadistic torture and mutilation. Children were let out of school and workers were given the day off to witness the events. When Sam Hose, who had thrown his ax at a white man and killed him after the man pulled a gun on him, was lynched on April 23, 1899, near Newman, Ga., 1,000 people attended. Many arrived on a special excursion train from Atlanta. Hose was stripped and chained to a tree. His executioners stacked kerosene-soaked logs around him. They cut off Hose’s ears, fingers and genitals. They flayed his face. Members of the crowd thrust knives into him. The logs were lit.

“The only sounds that came from the victim’s lips, even as his blood sizzled in the fire, were ‘Oh, my God! Oh, Jesus,’ ” writes Leon Litwack in “Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow.” “Before Hose’s body had even cooled, his heart and liver were removed and cut into several pieces and his bones were crushed into small particles. The crowd fought over these souvenirs, and the ‘more fortunate possessors’ made some handsome profits on the sales. (Small pieces of bone went for 25 cents, a piece of liver ‘crisply cooked’ sold for 10 cents.) Shortly after the lynching, one of the participants reportedly left for the state capital, hoping to deliver to the governor of Georgia a slice of Sam Hose’s heart.”

On the trunk of a tree near the lynching, a placard read: “We Must Protect Our Southern Women.”

In May of 1918, Mary Turner, eight months pregnant, publicly denounced the lynching of her husband, Hazel “Hayes” Turner, who had been murdered the day before. She threatened to take those who lynched him to court. A mob of several hundred in Valdosta, Ga., hunted her down. They tied the pregnant woman’s ankles together and hung her upside down from a tree. They doused her clothes with gasoline and set her on fire. Someone used a hog-butchering knife to rip open her womb. Her baby fell the ground and cried briefly. A member of the mob crushed the infant’s head under the heel of his boot. Hundreds of rounds were shot into her body. The Associated Press reported that Mary Turner had made “unwise remarks” about the lynching of her husband “and the people, in their indignation, took exceptions to her remarks, as well as her attitude.”

In commenting in 1894 on lynchings, the crusading editor and activist Ida B. Wells said, “[O]ur American Christians are too busy saving the souls of white Christians from burning in hell-fire to save the lives of black ones from present burning in fires kindled by white Christians.”

James Baldwin, in the second half of the 20th century, repeatedly warned white Americans that their relentless refusal to honestly confront their past, and themselves, would lead to grotesque distortions of the sort that decades later we see embodied in Donald Trump. There is a severe cost, he wrote, for a life lived as a lie.

“People pay for what they do, and, still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become,” Baldwin wrote. “And they pay for it very simply by the lives they lead. The crucial thing, here, is that the sum of these individual abdications menaces life all over the world. For, in the generality, as social and moral and political and sexual entities, white Americans are probably the sickest and certainly the most dangerous people, of any color, to be found in the world today.”

The first recorded lynching in Georgia took place near Jonesboro in 1880. We have only the name of the victim, Milly Thompson. No one knows if Thompson was male or female. There is no record of Thompson committing a crime. But I suspect that, as in the cases of most lynching victims, the crime Thompson committed was the crime of freedom. If you were black, in this land of gallant cavaliers and Southern belles, and you objected to being human chattel and to enforced deference and submission to whites, they killed you.

The Cult of Trump

The Cult of Trump
By Chris Hedges
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-cult-of-trump-3/

Editor’s note: The 45th president’s approval ratings remain steady despite numerous scandals and missteps. Below is an Oct. 29, 2018, column in which Hedges analyzes Donald Trump’s seemingly indefatigable appeal. On Tuesday, Truthdig will publish a new column by Hedges, one that will present the text of a speech he will give that same day in London in support of Julian Assange. 

Cult leaders arise from decayed communities and societies in which people have been shorn of political, social and economic power. The disempowered, infantilized by a world they cannot control, gravitate to cult leaders who appear omnipotent and promise a return to a mythical golden age. The cult leaders vow to crush the forces, embodied in demonized groups and individuals, that are blamed for their misery. The more outrageous the cult leaders become, the more they flout law and social conventions, the more they gain in popularity. Cult leaders are immune to the norms of established society. This is their appeal. Cult leaders demand a God-like power. Those who follow them grant them this power in the hope that the cult leaders will save them.

Donald Trump has transformed the decayed carcass of the Republican Party into a cult. All cults are personality cults. They are extensions of the cult leaders. The cult reflects the leader’s prejudices, worldview, personal style and ideas. Trump did not create the yearning for a cult leader. Huge segments of the population, betrayed by the established elites, were conditioned for a cult leader. They were desperately looking for someone to rescue them and solve their problems. They found their cult leader in the New York real estate developer and reality television show star. Only when we recognize Trump as a cult leader, and many of those who support him as cult followers, will we understand where we are headed and how we must resist.

It was 40 years ago next month that a messianic preacher named Jim Jones convinced or forced more than 900 of his followers, including roughly 280 children, to die by ingesting a cyanide-laced drink. Trump’s refusal to acknowledge and address the impending crisis of ecocide and the massive mismanagement of the economy by kleptocrats, his bellicosity, his threats against Iran and China and the withdrawal from nuclear arms treaties, along with his demonization of all who oppose him, ensure our cultural and, if left unchecked, physical extinction. Cult leaders are driven, at their core, by the death instinct, the instinct to annihilate and destroy rather than nurture and create. Trump shares many of the characteristics of Jones as well as other cult leaders including Marshall Herff Applewhite and Bonnie Lu Nettles, the founders of the Heaven’s Gate cult; the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who led the Unification Church; Credonia Mwerinde, who led the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God in Uganda; Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong; and David Koresh, who led the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas. Cult leaders are narcissists. They demand obsequious fawning and total obedience. They prize loyalty above competence. They wield absolute control. They do not tolerate criticism. They are deeply insecure, a trait they attempt to cover up with bombastic grandiosity. They are amoral and emotionally and physically abusive. They see those around them as objects to be manipulated for their own empowerment, enjoyment and often sadistic entertainment. All those outside the cult are branded as forces of evil, prompting an epic battle whose natural expression is violence.

“A cult is a mirror of what is inside the cult leader,” Margaret Thaler Singer wrote in “Cults in Our Midst.” “He has no restraints on him. He can make his fantasies and desires come alive in the world he creates around him. He can lead people to do his bidding. He can make the surrounding world really his world. What most cult leaders achieve is akin to the fantasies of a child at play, creating a world with toys and utensils. In that play world, the child feels omnipotent and creates a realm of his own for a few minutes or a few hours. He moves the toy dolls about. They do his bidding. They speak his words back to him. He punishes them any way he wants. He is all-powerful and makes his fantasy come alive. When I see the sand tables and the collections of toys some child therapists have in their offices, I think that a cult leader must look about and place people in his created world much as a child creates on the sand table a world that reflects his or her desires and fantasies. The difference is that the cult leader has actual humans doing his bidding as he makes a world around him that springs from inside his own head.”

George Orwell understood that cult leaders manipulate followers primarily through language, not force. This linguistic manipulation is a gradual process. It is rooted in continual mental chaos and verbal confusion. Lies, conspiracy theories, outlandish ideas and contradictory statements that defy reality and fact soon paralyze the opposition. The opposition, with every attempt to counter this absurdism with the rational—such as the decision by Barack Obama to make his birth certificate public or by Sen. Elizabeth Warren to release the results of her DNA test to prove she has Native American ancestry—plays to the cult leader. The cult leader does not take his or her statements seriously and often denies ever making them, even when they are documented. Lies and truth do not matter. The language of the cult leader is designed exclusively to appeal to the emotional needs of those in the cult.

“Hitler kept his enemies in a state of constant confusion and diplomatic upheaval,” Joost A.M. Meerloo wrote in “The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing.” “They never knew what this unpredictable madman was going to do next. Hitler was never logical, because he knew that that was what he was expected to be. Logic can be met with logic, while illogic cannot—it confuses those who think straight. The Big Lie and monotonously repeated nonsense have more emotional appeal in a cold war than logic and reason. While the enemy is still searching for a reasonable counter-argument to the first lie, the totalitarians can assault him with another.”

The cult leader grooms followers to speak in the language of hate and violence. The cult leader constantly paints a picture of an existential threat, often invented, that puts the cult followers in danger. Trump is doing this by demonizing the caravan of some 4,000 immigrants, most from Honduras, moving through southern Mexico. Caravans of immigrants, are, in fact, nothing new. The beleaguered and impoverished asylum seekers, including many families with children, are 1,000 miles from the Texas border. But Trump, aided by nearly nonstop coverage by Fox News and Christian broadcasting, is using the caravan to terrify his followers, just as he, along with these media outlets, portrayed the protesters who flooded the U.S. capital to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as unruly mobs. Trump claims the Democrats want to open the border to these “criminals” and to “unknown Middle Easterners” who are, he suggests, radical jihadists. Christian broadcasting operations, such as Pat Robertson’s The 700 Club, splice pictures of marching jihadists in black uniforms cradling automatic weapons into the video shots of the caravan.

The fear mongering and rhetoric of hate and violence, as I saw in the former Yugoslavia, eventually lead to widespread acts of violence against those the cult leader defines as the enemy. The 13 explosive devices sent last week to Trump critics and leaders of the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, along with George Soros, James Clapper and CNN, allegedly by Cesar Sayoc, an ex-stripper and fanatic Trump supporter who was living out of his van, herald more violence. Trump, tossing gasoline on the flames, used this assault against much of the leadership of the Democratic Party to again attack the press, or, as he calls it, “the enemy of the people.” “A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” he tweeted. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its acts, FAST!”

It should come as no surprise that on Saturday another enraged American white male, his fury and despair seemingly stoked by the diatribes and conspiracy theories of the far right, entered a Pittsburgh synagogue and massacred eight men and three women as he shouted anti-Semitic abuse. Shot by police and arrested at the scene was Robert Bowers, who believes that Jewish groups are aiding the caravan of immigrants in southern Mexico. He was armed with a military-style AR-15 assault rifle, plus three handguns. The proliferation of easily accessible high-caliber weapons, coupled with the division of the country into the blessed and the damned by Trump and his fellow cultists, threatens to turn the landscape of the United States into one that resembles Mexico, where at least 145 people in politics, including 48 candidates and pre-candidates, along with party leaders and campaign workers, have been assassinated over the last 12 months, according to Etellekt, a risk analysis firm in Mexico. There have been 627 incidents of violence against politicians, 206 threats and acts of intimidation, 57 firearm assaults and 52 attacks on family members that resulted in 50 fatalities. Trump’s response to the mass shooting at the synagogue was to say places of worship should have armed guards, a call for further proliferation of firearms. Look south if you want a vision of our future.

Domestic terrorism and nihilistic violence are the natural outcomes of the economic, social and political stagnation, the total seizure of power by a corporate cabal and oligarchic elite, and the contamination of civil discourse by cult leaders. The weaponization of language is proliferating, as seen in the vile rhetoric that characterizes many political campaigns for the midterm elections, including the racist robocall sent out against Andrew Gillum, an African-American candidate for the governorship of Florida. “Well, hello there. I is the negro Andrew Gillum and I’ll be askin’ you to make me governor of this here state of Florida,” a man speaking in a caricature of a black dialect accompanied by jungle noises said in the robocall. Cults externalize evil. Evil is embodied in the demonized other, whether desperate immigrants, black political candidates and voters, or the Democratic Party. The only way to purge this “evil” and restore America to “greatness” is to eradicate these human contaminants.

The cult leader, unlike a traditional politician, makes no effort to reach out to his opponents. The cult leader seeks to widen the divisions. The leader brands those outside the cult as irredeemable. The leader seeks the omnipotence to crush those who do not kneel in adoration. The followers, yearning to be protected and empowered by the cult leader, seek to give the cult leader omnipotence. Democratic norms, an impediment to the leader’s omnipotence, are attacked and abolished. Those in the cult seek to be surrounded by the cult leader’s magical aura. Reality is sacrificed for fantasy. Those who challenge the fantasy are not considered human. They are Satanic.

Meerloo wrote:

The dictator is not only a sick man, he is also a cruel opportunist. He sees no value in any other person and feels no gratitude for any help he may have received. He is suspicious and dishonest and believes that his personal ends justify any means he may use to achieve them. Peculiarly enough, every tyrant still searches for some self-justification. Without such a soothing device for his own conscience, he cannot live. His attitude toward other people is manipulative; to him, they are merely tools for the advancement of his own interests. He rejects the conception of doubt, of internal contradictions, or man’s inborn ambivalence. He denies the psychological fact that man grows to maturity through groping, through trial and error, through the interplay of contrasting feelings. Because he will not permit himself to grope, to learn through trial and error, the dictator can never become a mature person. … It is because the dictator is afraid, albeit unconsciously, of his own internal contradictions, that he is afraid of the same internal contradictions of his fellow man. He must purge and purge, terrorize and terrorize in order to still his own raging inner drives. He must kill every doubter, destroy every person who makes a mistake, imprison everyone who cannot be proved to be utterly single-minded.

Behavior that ensures the destruction of a public figure’s career does not affect a cult leader. It does not matter how many lies uttered by Trump are meticulously documented by The New York Times or The Washington Post. It does not matter that Trump’s personal financial interests, as we see in his relationship with the Saudis, take precedence over the rule of law, diplomatic protocols and national security. It does not matter that he is credibly charged by numerous women with being a sexual predator, a common characteristic of cult leaders. It does not matter that he is inept, lazy and ignorant. The establishment, whose credibility has been destroyed because of its complicity in empowering the ruling oligarchy and the corporate state, might as well be blowing soap bubbles at Trump. Its vitriol, to his followers, only justifies the hatred radiating from the cult.

The cult leader responds to only one emotion—fear. The cult leader, usually a coward, will react when he thinks he is in danger. The cult leader will bargain and compromise when afraid. The cult leader will give the appearance of being flexible and reasonable. But as soon as the cult leader is no longer afraid, the old patterns of behavior return, with a special venom directed at those who were able to momentarily impinge upon his power.

The removal of Trump from power would not remove the yearning of tens of millions of people, many conditioned by the Christian right, for a cult leader. Most of the leaders of the Christian right have built cult followings of their own. These Christian fascists embraced magical thinking, attacked their enemies as agents of Satan and denounced reality-based science and journalism long before Trump did. Cults are a product of social decay and despair, and our decay and despair are expanding, soon to explode in another financial crisis.

The efforts by the Democratic Party and much of the press, including CNN and The New York Times, to discredit Trump, as if our problems are embodied in him, are futile. The smug, self-righteousness of this crusade against Trump only contributes to the national reality television show that has replaced journalism and politics. This crusade attempts to reduce a social, economic and political crisis to the personality of Trump. It is accompanied by a refusal to confront and name the corporate forces responsible for our failed democracy. This collusion with the forces of corporate oppression neuters the press and Trump’s mainstream critics.

Our only hope is to organize the overthrow of the corporate state that vomited up Trump. Our democratic institutions, including the legislative bodies, the courts and the media, are hostage to corporate power. They are no longer democratic. We must, like liberation movements of the past, engage in acts of sustained mass civil disobedience and non-cooperation. By turning our ire on the corporate state, we name the true sources of power and abuse. We expose the absurdity of blaming our demise on demonized groups such as undocumented workers, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos, liberals, feminists, gays and others. We give people an alternative to a Democratic Party that refuses to confront the corporate forces of oppression and cannot be rehabilitated. We make possible the restoration of an open society. If we fail to embrace this militancy, which alone has the ability to destroy cult leaders, we will continue the march toward tyranny.

Mindless Zombies Infest US Capitol Building.

https://crayfisher.wordpress.com/2020/01/07/mindless-zombies-infest-us-capitol-building/

Why yes, here are in fact? The mindless zombies infesting the Capitol Building

Uncle Daddy and Sister Mommy got their Trumpanzee a new hat.

Trumpanzees in their natural habitat.

The Trumpanacle Choir sings All we are saying is give Trump a chance.

If Trump supporters don't like it that U.S. citizens have the right to criticize their president? They are free to move to a country where that kind of thing is illegal

Your farts smell so good, Mr Trump says the Trumpanzees

How do you circumcise a Trump voter? Kick his sister in the jaw.

Trumpanzee Voter Logic: Trump is my guy, and he wouldn't be my guy if he was dumb, because I wouldn't look up to a dumb guy, so clearley he's smart, and since he's smart? I can trust him and anything he does must have a good reason for it. Otherwise, the liberals might be right that I made a mistake, and if he's wrong on this thing, he might be wrong on all the stuff that people say he's wrong about and that would mean I've been tricked hard, and that would be really embarrassing, so no, Trump is smart.

So, you're a Trump supporter? You wanted a racist president and ended up with his Russian Pimp. Lets just say that you got used and screwed at the same time. Talking about being a dumb-azz to a higher level huh?

Trumpanzee: As soon as them illegal dreamers is gone I'm gonna get me one of them technology jobs they stole from me.

If you ever feel stupid? Just remember there are lots of idiots who think Donald Trump would be a good president.

Trumpanzees are oh so classy huh? But I am willing to bet that even perverted Donald J Trump would not grab this freak by her sewer crotch.

Trumpanzee How dare you criticize Mr Trump!!! Take it back or I will throw my poop at you!!!

Trumpanzees waiting on their fraud to speak

The only reason left to support Donald J Trump is that he reflects your hateful heart; he shares your contempt of people of color, your hostility towards outsiders, your toxic misogyny, your ignorant bigotry and your feelings of supremacy. Rev John Pavlovitz

The Crawdad Hole

BREAKING NEWS:

Anonymous sources are reporting that zombies have “swarmed” parts of the US Capitol Building. So far they haven’t eaten anyone. They appear to have been drugged or are brain-damaged, causing many of them to be mistaken for members of the press. Some people are saying this could signal the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse.

Not journalists

UPDATE:

Capitol Hill staffers who are not authorized to go on record are reporting that these are not zombies, they are a new species of humanoid sheep called “sheeple.” Instead of brains, sheeple mostly eat tofu.

Fuck Ewe

UPDATE:

A female NYT reporter obtained information from a Capital Hill security guard in exchange for sexual favors. According to “Larry” the security guard, who heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend, these sheeple are genetically modified sheep that do not have individual brains but instead share a hive mind…

View original post 8 more words

The REAL Reason for Trump Derangement Syndrome

No true Christian stands and defends Donald J Trump. He is in fact? A proven pathological liar, a proven misogynist pig and proven pedo pervert, a proven thief and con artist, a proven racist and bigot. He got busted for practicing discrimination in housing against blacks, he has been found guilty of fraud in his University and Charity and had them closed down for it. He has been sued hundreds of times for ripping off construction workers who worked for him. He has bankrupted his companies. He has insulted, denigrated and defamed women, disabled people, Gold Star military families, Vietnam Vet POW’s, and many others. He admitted and is caught on video tape, admitting because he is rich? He thinks he can grab any woman he wants by the pussy. He thinks because he owned the Miss Teen USA and Miss USA pagaents? He had a right to walk in and oogle naked underage girls, which is exactly what he did and admitted to doing.

He has been captured on video saying all kinds of disgusting, perverted things about his daughters Ivanka and Tiffany, including how Tiffany already had great legs like her mother and hoped she got big boobs too but only time will tell and she was one year old when he said this about her. He said his daughter Ivanka had a great ass, was gorgeous and would date her if she was not his daughter. And? During a live interview with Ivanka? When asked what he had in common with her? Well she said casinos and real estate and he said? SEX.

So lets see what will happen to Donald J Trump and those who support and defend him shall we?

Malachi 3:5 Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

‘The American people cared. And I care.’ Top lines from Judge Amy Berman Jackson during the Roger Stone sentencing

‘The American people cared. And I care.’ Top lines from Judge Amy Berman Jackson during the Roger Stone sentencing
By Dan Berman CNN
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/20/politics/amy-berman-jackson-quotes/index.html

Washington (CNN)Judge Amy Berman Jackson, as she sentenced Roger Stone to 40 months in prison, gave a lengthy speech extolling truth and the rule of law to a rapt courtroom on Thursday.Jackson appeared to criticize President Donald Trump and others promoting conspiracy theories about the Russia probe. And she decried what she saw as efforts to undercut truth and democracy.Here are some of Jackson’s key lines, as recorded in a court transcript:

On the truth and the foundation to democracy

“At trial, the defense appropriately questioned Randy Credico’s credibility and Rick Gates‘s credibility, but it was largely Stone’s own emails and his own texts that proved the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt. So what did the defense say to the jury on his behalf? So what? So what?”Of all the circumstances in this case, that may be the most pernicious. The truth still exists. The truth still matters. Roger Stone’s insistence that it doesn’t, his belligerence, his pride in his own lies are a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the very foundation of our democracy.””And if it goes unpunished, it will not be a victory for one party or another. Everyone loses because everyone depends on the representatives they elect to make the right decisions on a myriad of issues — many of which are politically charged but many of which aren’t — based on the facts.

“Everyone depends on our elected representatives to protect our elections from foreign interference based on the facts. No one knows where the threat is going to come from next time or whose side they’re going to be on, and for that reason the dismay and disgust at the defendant’s belligerence should transcend party.”The dismay and the disgust at the attempts by others to defend his actions as just business as usual in our polarized climate should transcend party. The dismay and the disgust with any attempts to interfere with the efforts of prosecutors and members of the judiciary to fulfill their duty should transcend party.”Sure, the defense is free to say: So what? Who cares? But, I’ll say this: Congress cared. The United States Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia that prosecuted the case and is still prosecuting the case cared. The jurors who served with integrity under difficult circumstances cared. The American people cared. And I care.”

On the need for an independent judiciary

“This case also exemplifies why it is that this system, for good reason, demands that the responsibility falls to someone neutral. “Someone whose job may involve issuing opinions in favor of and against the same administration in the same week, and not someone who has a longstanding friendship with the defendant. Not someone whose political career was aided by the defendant. And surely not someone who has personal involvement in the events underlying the case. The court cannot be influenced by those comments. They were entirely inappropriate, but I will not hold them against the defendant either. “It would be equally improper to be buffeted by the winds blowing from the left, the enthusiastic callers who object to what the defendant stands for. I cannot and will not sentence him for the behavior of those he supports. Sentencing is personal, and it’s based on the evidence.”

On the responsibility of sentencing

“The only people who think this is easy are the ones who don’t have to make the decision. Many people weighed in, formally through letters, informally by calling chambers, pontificating on cable TV, and in blogs, op-eds, and tweets.”

On Stone covering up for Trump

“I have received letters urging me not to silence an important voice in the public arena, but that will not be an element of this sentence in any way. I expect he will keep talking. And as you’ve just heard when I went through the elements of the offense, he was not convicted and is not being sentenced for exercising his First Amendment rights, his support of the President’s campaign or his policies. “He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the President. He was prosecuted for covering up for the President.”

I very much admire everthing that Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in her sentencing of Roger Stone. She absolutely destroyed Stone, Trump and called out both parties. But of course? Traitor Trump did not care about any of this and continued his psychotic tirade on Twitter and at his Klan Rally.

We are in serious trouble with this bozo in the White House. We have to do everything we can to soundly defeat this ass-clown. We all know Russia is gonna go psycho on social media like Fascistbook, whose CEO’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandburg have proven they don’t give a flying fuck about honesty and truth on their platform, they are going to allow all the same shit to happen that got Traitor Trump such a fan base of liars and con-artists and scumbags. All Fuckerberg and Sandburg give a shit about is the bottom line of profits, not the truth and they have proven firmly in Traitor Trump’s side. Jack Dorsey of Twittler is allowing that piece of shit to use his platform to spread his lies and bullshit as he too rakes in the billions and goes to live on some isolated place away from all the trouble when the shit does finally hits the fan.

So we all gotta do what we all gotta do. Legally until it comes down to when the Mental Midget Moron Trumpanzees who have been spewing their white supremacist racist bullshit since a real President, Barack Obama was in the White House how they are going to drop their micro nuts and pop off and start their Civil War.

Yeah, it would suck if the mental midget morons did, a whole lot of innocent people have been hurt and even murdered by these psychopaths of Traitor Trump, and a lot more probably will be harmed before these violent, generational inbred, farm animal fucking, deluxe outhouse dwelling, sister and momma marrying shitstains on the underwear of humanity Trumpanzees learn another lesson of loss like their ancestral losers learned in the first Civil War and in WWI and WWII and don’t make a mistake, if they finally drop their micro nuts and pop off? There is going to be a whole lot of problems for us. But I also believe our greatest asset, the US Military and our Federal Law Enforcement are on it and it sure sounds like they are with all the Reich-Wing psychopaths they been rounding up for their crimes of hate, bigotry, misogyny, and pure fucking evil.

But we got to get off our asses. I love ya Bernie, but we need fresh blood and your influence does not go as far as others really. I loved ya when I lived in Burlington Vt when you were mayor. You proved you were a man of your word, though you got a few skeletons in your closet that will prove your own hypocrisy? I think Bernie Bros should sthu and stop their vile bullshit and bullying of others. What the fuck, you idiots act like the Trumpsters and you bring bad shit on Bernie himself. So why don’t you morons grow the fuck up and stop acting like the same mental midget moron Trumpanzees we are fighting? Unless you love being thought of as wasteless assholes???

For me? I am looking more for Mayor Pete, now that would piss off the Righteous Hypocrites ChristoTaliban wouldn’t it? And Traitor Trump and his minions. And I love Mayor Petes policies too and he has a damn good chance to defeat Traitor Trump. I also loved Tulsi Gabbard, both these people, Tulsi and Pete are the kind of leaders we need for our country, especially seeing they actually served in our military honorably and with sacrifice.

Biden is a fool, Bloomberg thinks he can beat Traitor Trump but he is another version of Trump with his misogyny and racism and bullshit and because he is a billionaire, another of those rich fucks who do not care about you or I.

So hold onto your hats ladies and germs, prepare for the occasion if these mental midget moron Trumpsters finally drop their micro nuts and pop off, especially if Traitor Trump does lose re-election, HUGELY!!!!

What is the ‘boogaloo?’ How online calls for a violent uprising are hitting the mainstream

What is the ‘boogaloo?’ How online calls for a violent uprising are hitting the mainstream
By Brandy Zadrozny
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/what-is-the-boogaloo-how-online-calls-for-a-violent-uprising-are-hitting-the-mainstream/ar-BB109NHA

An anti-government movement that advocates for a violent uprising targeting liberal political opponents and law enforcement has moved from the fringes of the internet into the mainstream in recent months and surged on social media, according to a group of researchers that tracks hate groups.

Not all Trump supporters are racist. But make no mistake ALL RACISTS ARE TRUMP SUPPORTERS.

The movement, which says it wants a second Civil War organized around the term “boogaloo,” now includes groups on mainstream internet platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit as well as fringe websites including 4chan, according to a report released Tuesday night by the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI), an independent non-profit of scientists and engineers that tracks and reports on misinformation and hate speech across social media.

While calls for organized and targeted violence in the form of a new Civil War have previously circulated among some hate groups, the emergence of the term “boogaloo” appeared to be a new and discrete movement. NCRI researchers analyzed more than 100 million social media posts and comments and found that through the use of memes — inside jokes commonly in the form of images — extremists have pushed anti-government and anti-law enforcement messages across social media platforms. They have also organized online communities with tens of thousands of members, some of whom have assembled at real-world events.

The report “represents a breakthrough case study in the capacity to identify cyber swarms and viral insurgencies in nearly real time as they are developing in plain sight,” wrote John Farmer, a former New Jersey attorney general and current director of the Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience at Rutgers University, in the report’s forward.

The report comes as U.S. law enforcement officials and researchers at various levels have issued warnings about the growing threat posed by domestic extremists motivated by fringe ideologies and conspiracy theories. Joel Finkelstein, NCRI’s director and a research scholar at the James Madison Program at Princeton University, said the report had been sent to members of Congress and the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice, among others.

Paul Goldenberg, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, said the report was “a wake-up call.”

“When you have people talking about and planning sedition, and violence against minorities, police, and public officials, we need to take their words seriously,” said Goldenberg, who is also CEO of the security consulting company Cardinal Point Strategies.

Why do Trump supporters fly the flags of armies that got their asses kicked by America?
Good Question.

Goldenberg said the report had “gone viral” within law enforcement and intelligence communities since its limited release last week. People are reading it and distributing it “far and wide,” he said.

The current boogaloo movement was first noticed by extremism researchers in 2019, when fringe groups from gun rights and militia movements to white supremacists began referring to an impending civil war using the term boogaloo, a joking reference to “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo,” a 1984 sequel movie about breakdancing.

The term is used to describe an uprising against a seemingly tyrannical or left-wing government, often in response to a perceived threat of wide-spread gun confiscation. For many, the term boogaloo — silly on its face — is used jokingly, or ironically, but for others, the boogaloo memes are shared alongside violent text and images, seemingly to flame an eventual confrontation.

In the last three months, boogaloo-related conversation has grown rapidly, according to the researchers, who found that use of the term has increased nearly 50 percent on platforms like Reddit and Twitter over the last few months. Increased exposure, the researchers warn, carries the danger of indoctrination.

The difference between a Nazi and a Trump voter? Nazis could read the books they burned.

Boogaloo extremists have used social media to “strategize, share instructions for explosives and 3-D printed firearms, distribute illegal firearm modifications, and siphon users into encrypted messaging boards en mass,” according to the NCRI report. The report also notes how the boogaloo concept has been monetized, through merchandise advertised through Facebook and Instagram ads, and marketed to current and former members of the military.

On Facebook and Instagram, the researchers pointed to several boogaloo-themed public groups and accounts with tens of thousands of members and followers.

A Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the company monitored groups that called for violence.

“We’ve been studying trends around this and related terms on Facebook and Instagram,” the spokesperson said. “We don’t allow speech used to incite hate or violence, and will remove any content that violates our policies. We’ll continue to monitor this across our platform.”

Since NCRI generated the report last week, membership in several boogaloo groups on Facebook has nearly doubled, according to an NBC News analysis. During the same period, two of Facebook’s most popular boogaloo groups that boasted nearly 20,000 followers are no longer available this week. Facebook did not return request for comment.

Much like the OK hand symbol coopted by white nationalists who later denied the association, the ambiguity of the term boogaloo works to cloak extremist organizing in the open.

“Like a virus hiding from the immune system, the use of comical-meme language permits the network to organize violence secretly behind a mirage of inside jokes and plausible deniability,” the report states.

The term “boogaloo” has also been seen in real-world activism. At the Virginia Citizens Defense League’s annual Lobby Day in Richmond in January, one group of protestors who go by Patriot Wave, wore Pepe the Frog patches emblazoned with “Boogaloo Boys.” One man carried a sign that read, “I have a dream of a Boogaloo.” The rally was held on Martin Luther King Day.

NCRI was able to trace the origin of the use of the term boogaloo to 4chan’s politics-focused message board, where racist and hateful memes often get their start. Boogaloo was often associated with apocalyptic and racist terms like “racewar” and “dotr,” a white power fantasy that imagines a time when “race traitors” will be murdered.

The report tracked events when online chatter about an impending boogaloo spiked. The analysis found a peak during a November standoff in upstate New York between an army veteran and police over a domestic dispute. The veteran, Alex Booth, chronicled the standoff on his pro-gun Instagram account “Whiskey Warrior 556,” claiming to followers that his guns were being confiscated. The incident made the boogaloo meme go viral, and gained Booth over 100,000 followers.

The second boogaloo meme peak appeared around the House’s impeachment of Donald Trump, the report found.

Opinions | Republicans have unleashed an ethical monster

Opinions | Republicans have unleashed an ethical monster
By Jennifer Rubin
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/opinions-republicans-have-unleashed-an-ethical-monster/ar-BB109Vqt?ocid=msn360

The Republican Party, we have noted, has gone from a conservative party to an authoritarian one. With a total of 11 pardons and commutations of rich, corrupt and utterly undeserving men, President Trump has completed the transition from the law-and-order party to the crime-mob party.

President Trump on Tuesday used his sweeping presidential pardon powers to wipe away the crimes of a list of boldface names, including disgraced politician Rod R. Blagojevich, convicted junk bond king Michael Milken and former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik.

Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of seven convicted white collar criminals at the center of federal anti-corruption and tax fraud cases spanning decades, alongside four women whose cases were not as well known. …

Also on Trump’s pardon list … [was] Edward DeBartolo Jr., the billionaire former owner of the San Francisco 49ers football team, who pleaded guilty two decades ago to charges related to his role in a corruption case against former Louisiana governor Edwin W. Edwards (D).

While appearing on television (Trump’s connection to the outside world — or, rather, the outside world that the right-wing media would like to exist) was a popular means of getting Trump’s attention, it was no surprise that some of the beneficiaries seemed to have ponied up money to elect Trump. The Daily Beast reported:

For those who didn’t receive the Fox News treatment, it appears that in at least one case, cold hard cash did the talking. Paul Pogue, a construction company owner who pleaded guilty to underpaying his taxes by $473,000 and received three years probation, was issued a full pardon and clemency by the president.

According to FEC filings, Pogue’s family has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct contributions and in-kind air travel to the Trump Victory Committee. Beginning in August 2019, Ben Pogue—CEO of Pogue Construction and son of Paul Pogue—and his wife Ashleigh made over $200,000 in contributions to the campaign.

Hand Job Hannity of Faux Nitwit Newsless giving a reach around to Donald J Trump live on air
Hand Job Hannity of Faux Nitwit Newsless giving a reach around to Donald J Trump live on air

Trump, the corrupt and entitled white male who perceives himself as the perpetual victim, must feel a connection to other privileged, corrupt figures. If they are victims of a rigged or unfair system, he must be, too. (One can now fully appreciate how ludicrous was the defense in the impeachment trial that Trump was motivated by a heartfelt desire to root out corruption. Republicans who parroted this nonsense should be voted out of office.)

Worse still, there is widespread suspicion that this is simply a prelude to pardons for cronies Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and others. Trump wants vindication and secrecy, so what better way than to direct senators not to hear evidence of his own misdeeds, delegitimize the convictions of his associates and then, by pardon, obtain their silence and gratitude?

Mimi Rocah, a former prosecutor, tells me: “The pardon power is supposed to be about correcting injustices. There is no reasonable argument that the people pardoned today — all of whom corrupted our financial and political systems in massive ways — were subject to a miscarriage of justice.” She adds, “To the contrary, they are powerful, connected white men who had the benefit of good defense lawyers. It also sends a message to Stone, Giuliani, Manafort and Flynn — that Trump has their back because white collar crime doesn’t count.”

Do his supporters even care that the swamp he promised to drain is more fetid than ever? Are Republicans who emboldened him with an acquittal in his impeachment trial just a tad embarrassed by the normalization, the celebration even, of corruption? Probably not. They have long since discarded any semblance of concern for the rule of law, let alone for decency and propriety.

“President Trump knows voters think he’s corrupt,” says Ian Bassin, executive director of Protect Democracy. “But many of his voters stick with him because they think, ‘They’re all corrupt, so I’ll take my corrupt guy over the other one.’ But whatever flaws American democracy has had over the years, we all agreed we wanted a Republic, and not a King.” He adds, “Trump’s bet is that voters will forget that. It’s our job to make him lose that bet.”

In case one needed further evidence of the urgency of removing Trump at the ballot box and sending his Republican enablers packing as well, this last descent into self-serving veneration of corruption should remind us we are well on the way to banana-republic territory.

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shrills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with bibles, christians of convenience, frelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of am radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons...republicans, the number one reason the rest of the world thinks we're deaf, dumb and dangerous." Garrison Keillor

Former Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller notes, “Trump has consistently made clear who he believes deserves mercy and who he believes deserves the full weight of federal law enforcement. If you’re a connected Republican, someone whose family can manage to appear on Fox, or someone who commits crimes against the people Trump despises, then he will go to bat for you.” However, Miller says, “if you’re one of the 13,000 whose clemency petition is pending at the Justice Department, and you don’t have anything to offer the president, then good luck.”

The latest outrage should also serve as a wake-up call for Democrats: Choose the candidate who can deliver a victory, a commanding victory, over Trump and his ethically degenerate party. Do not get distracted by fundraising methods or ideological purity. Win. Just win. Our democracy (not to mention our collective sanity) depends on it.

Time For A New Revolution

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR TO ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, IT IS THEIR RIGHT, IT IS THEIR DUTY, TO THROW OFF SUCH GOVERNMENT AND TO PROVIDE NEW GUARDS FOR THEIR FUTURE SECURITY.

Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence.