Thursday, December 29, 2016

Research in the anti-semitism situation in Montana

Most media outlets haven't dug into this story yet. If and when they do, they'll have better resources than me, and maybe reveal more than I've found.

With that caveat, this is what I've found. The mother of a white supremacist political leader Richard Spencer lives in Whitefish, Montana. She owns and manages a building that she developed. Allegedly she's allowed her son to operate from real estate that she owns. Allegedly she was threatened with boycotts and demonstrations if she didn't sell the building. (Please assume "Allegedly for the rest of this post.) The person making the threats was a realtor who also wanted to find a buyer, make a commission, and collect a donation for a local human rights group.

Mom contacted The Daily Mail, which ran a story that was then picked up by a neo-Nazi website. That website printed her side of the story, then also gave names, addresses, emails addresses, personal phone numbers, and business phone numbers of the realtor, a local rabbi, the wife of a local retired rabbi, the retired rabbi, the realtor's teenage (or younger) son, and the realtor's husband.

Here are some of the insults they use in the article:
vicious... evil race of hate-filled psychopaths... a people without shame... she also posts slut pics on the internet... Jew hate group... confirmed super-Jew... extreme Jew... Jew agenda... Jew terrorist group... his whore mother’s vicious attack on the community of Whitefish... kike attorney... get a leash on that hoe...
Oh, but they also admonish their followers, after requesting a troll storm, to do this: "And as always: NO VIOLENCE OR THREATS OF VIOLENCE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE TO THAT."

It looks to me that the message is to harass them, and whatever, but don't threaten them, wink, wink. I mean, there's nothing threatening in this photo, is there? Nothing bad ever happened from wearing or labeling anyone with that yellow star, right?


So some Jewish groups complained about the treatment of the Jews identified (by name, picture, address, etc.) by The Daily Stormer, The website then raised the call to march through the town armed, expressing displeasure with any people or businesses that were supporting Jews or anti-hate groups. This could ratchet up even more, particularly if the march does occur. Hopefully, this will die down with no show of strength by neo-Nazis. But certainly I and many others will be watching.

Extras/links. Original Daily Mail story. First story on The Daily Stormer site. Emails provided by Spencer's mother. Her first-person account of the situation. Jewish news organization coverage and follow-up. The Daily Stormer follow-ups. Local coverage. CBS coverage with video about the call to march. Check out more of the lovely graphics and sentiments of The Daily Stormer, versus the anti-hate group they are targeting.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dems in disarray

Here is a great article about the current position of the leaders of the Democratic Party. They will be in the wilderness at the federal level, with no veto power unless the GOP allows continued use of the filibuster. I have strong doubts that the filibuster will survive. It might be gone as soon as January 2017.

Dems haven't figured out what their plan will be in response to GOP control of the legislative agenda and their ability to pass and get bills signed. A lot of bills will probably roll through Congress next year, and it's unclear that the Dems will be able to stop any of them.

Maybe, finally, the Dems will start talking about what should be fixed. They may talk about the downside of the current situation, and how it could get even worse with the GOP plan. My feeling is that the Dems were always too confident in the status quo. There was too much happy talk about Obamacare, and not enough concern about its costs and how to rein them in. There was too much happy talk about the job market improving under Dems, with no strong plan of how.

It's true that the GOP stymied the Dems completely. They couldn't have reformed any part of government if they had wanted to. But the Dems still could have shown the ideas and willingness to try. However, they didn't. They wanted the same path, starting at the status quo and adding more Dem-like programs and spending.

It seems like that plan has been a loser, and now the loss is almost as complete as possible. Will the Dems learn? No signs of it yet.


Extra. What Trumps says he'll do in his first 100 days. I should revisit this and make my reality-based guess of what will happen.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Cultivation of a fake news story

Supposedly Clinton blamed her loss partially on 'fake news' stories. Conservative commenters scoff at the idea of fake news, though they never try to tease out what might be real news versus fake news. They pretend that fake news is a liberal term for news that conservative media covers but mainstream media doesn't cover.

I know differently because I've researched some fake news, otherwise known as LIES. It's sad that the state of all media is so degraded that no sources are generally reliable for giving the whole view. However, MSM doesn't generally lie, and are called to account when a media source does lie.

Conservative media, on the other hand, frequently deals in lies and fabrications, and no one is called to account. No one in conservative media suffered for the lying, distorted editing of the Shirley Sherrod video, at least from what I've heard.

But this is repetition of a complaint I've made before. The new info is about a clear case of fake news. Alex Jones of Infowars was promoted the idea that the Clintons are involved in child trafficking. Supposedly the evidence is in the form of 'code words' in the Podesta emails. Jones kept promoting this story until a gunman (influenced by the stories) went into a pizza restaurant to investigate Jones' allegations, fired off a few shots (luckily injuring no one), and was arrested.

Of course Jones can't admit that he was wrong. Instead, he said that the restaurant is now the focus as a coverup of the real trafficking operations. He's still absolutely sure that something is going on.

This is such disgusting lying and incitement. Jones takes no responsibility, and he also is uninterested in whether anything he implies is true or not. Evidence that can be discovered, examined, and tracked to further evidence holds no interest for him at all. He's not an investigator, he's a lying, manipulative conman. It's important to watch his video in this story to see how unrepentant he is. He pretends that he hasn't focused on the pizza restaurant, which is a blatant lie when you look at his website, with its claim that "Pizzagate is global" and its picture of the restaurant itself.


This is the mindset of too many conservative media purveyors, and it becomes the mindset of their listeners. They don't have a clue how to access for truth, for evidence, for possible falsehood in the information they consume. They will make amazingly heinous accusations, like a pizza restaurant sells the opportunity to sexually abuse children. These accusations are based on someone's sense of 'code words' and their interpretation of logos and artwork. Solid evidence isn't necessary--it's fine to broadcast these suspicions because, even though the accusations involve some of the most brutal and repugnant acts, the accused don't deserve a fair hearing. They're just a bunch of libs--not real people. So you (an average real American) shouldn't be accused like that, or your brother, or a preacher, but it's fine to do to those horrible libs.

I suppose that's what it boils down to--it doesn't matter what you say about libs. It can be true, false, scandalous, fictitious, whatever. Just go ahead, because they are horrible and deserve whatever treatment they get. Ugh. There is no honesty, no ethics, and no principles in that way of thinking, but that's where a lot of these conservative are.


Extras. An interview with Pizzagate gunman. He doesn't sound like a rabidly bad person--religious, concerned. That was lucky, and may account for why no one was hurt. Aide on Trump's transition team is fired for spreading this stuff. Threats to another restaurant due to Pizzagate fake news stories.

Update 12/13/16. More details of the gunman's preparations and what he did in the restaurant.

Friday, November 18, 2016

How bad is the alt-right?

I'm only going to tackle a small piece of this question.

To start, here is David French on the threats he and his wife get daily because he was against Trump. I guess a specialty of some alt-right creeps is to Photoshop his wife's face onto the most disgusting pornographic image they can find and then send her the resulting artwork.

Next, it was instructive to read what Breitbart had to say about the alt-right. Basically, they are currently noisy frat boys, but they're also right:
"In short, they want what every people fighting for self-determination in history have ever wanted, ... — to come out of the woodwork and stand up for their values and culture."
This at the end of an article about the white nationalism, xenophobia, misogyny, and hate in the movement.

A related question is how much Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist and adviser, is a fellow of the alt-right. Ben Shapiro, formerly of Breitbart and thus a colleague of Steve Bannon, drops a lot of stories on him. The charges seem fairly specific, but I can't be an unbiased judge.

However, the press isn't finding very horrendous quotes attached to Bannon. Maybe this will change because he had a radio show, and people may need to listen to a lot of it to find the nastiest bits. Stay tuned.


First post-election post

So, President Trump, huh? I went into the election too comfortable, obviously. Also obvious is that my brother's predictions didn't pan out. Election night wasn't fun, slowly realizing that Clinton wouldn't catch up in Wisconsin, and has had lost the election.

The good news is that we won't have Clinton for president, with her defensiveness, 'safe' rather than bold leadership, and playing for popularity. We also will have so much less sniping at her. I feel a lot of relief about that.

The bad news is that we'll have a lot of unknowns with Trump and whatever gaggle of advisers he'll have.

But I'm not a pessimist because the world has generally turned out better than the worst case scenario, often much better. The US and I have survived so many presidents who were supposed to ruin the country that I just can't muster worry because Trump is expected (by some) to be a hundred times worse.

I'll keep my eyes open for signs of authoritarianism, and fight it strenuously if it happens. But I'm not losing sleep over the possibility until I see actual signs.

Changes I do expect:

  • Planned Parenthood will be defunded. That can't be blocked.
  • ACA changes will happen. I might actually support some of the changes.
  • Conservative nominees to the Supreme Court. 
  • Tax cuts with no sunset dates--hopefully not too large. 
Oh, and if there's a registry for Muslims, I guess I'll be one of many in line, from the sounds of it. Not expecting that though. 


Extras. Reports of harassment in Day 1 of Trump's America. I haven't witnessed any, and I won't stand by if I do witness anything. Revisit Michael Moore's prediction

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sharing predictions

I'm not into the scientific prediction business, so I'm not making my own predictions on the presidential elections. Instead, I'm sharing my brother's predictions. They are worthwhile for these reasons:

  • He's a level-headed business owner with a good track record on numbers and predictions. (You have to trust me on this.)
  • He's gathering hard data on early voting.
He's predicting Florida, North Carolina, and Nevada go for Hillary, and those will be enough to give her the win. He also says that Ohio and Iowa are very close and could go either way.

So that's the word. Hillary will be the next prez. The Donald Danger is averted.


Anti-Trump conservatives

I've been neglecting this story for too long. Some conservatives, and not the usual suspects, have been clearly against Trump. Eric Erickson of RedState makes an impassioned argument against Trump as a wicked person lacking morals. Another writer at RedState blasts Jerry Falwell Jr for supporting Trump. Glenn Beck is also making a moral argument against Trump.


Related Extras. Erickson tells of Trump supporters harassing him, and the deeply difficult decision not to support Trump at a time of great stress in his family. This article lists several prominent conservatives who are against Trump. However, I will never give Mark Levin credit for his stand because I've never known him to do something for the right reason. He's one of the biggest liars I ever seen, including doctoring evidence.

Unrelated Extras. Unbelievable theory that the Trump video was a fake. Why Trump's charges of voter fraud are unbelievable. A prediction that the GOP will continue on a white nationalist course. Former conservative Andrew Sullivan argues that Trump is a fascist.