AuthorTopic: Who They Are...  (Read 3864 times)

Offline Eddie

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FBI Received Reports That Border Militia Was Training to Assassinate Prominent Democrats

Larry Hopkins, the leader of an extremist militia group known as the United Constitutional Patriots was arrested by the FBI last weekend after videos emerged of the group rounding up and detaining migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico.

According to the New York Times, the FBI first became aware of Hopkins activities in 2017, when they received reports that his group was “training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama because of these individuals’ support of Antifa,” according to newly unsealed court documents.

“My client told me that is not true,” Hopkins lawyer Kelly O’Connell said of the assassination claims.

Hopkins, it turns out, is not just a militia leader, but a career criminal and conspiracy theorist. The Times runs down some of Hopkins long list of offenses, which includes felony possession of a loaded firearm in 1996, impersonating a police officer in 2006, and failure to pay child support in 2009.

“Hopkins stated that he worked for the federal government directly under George Bush,” Officer Jack Daniel of Klamath County, OR wrote in a report when he encountered Hopkins in 2006. At the time, Hopkins was showing guns to teenagers in a gas station parking lot, wearing a uniform that made him look like a police officer and a badge that said “Special Agent.”

“Mr. Hopkins, the report said, claimed variously to be investigating a meth lab, hunting fugitives and undertaking unspecified ‘operations’ in Afghanistan,” the Times writes.

When the FBI arrested Hopkins last weekend, it was on charges of possession of firearms and ammunition as a felon. But the agency first learned of his stash of guns over a year and a half ago.

From the Times:

In an affidavit, David S. Gabriel, an F.B.I. special agent, said the bureau was made aware of the activities of Mr. Hopkins after receiving reports in October 2017 of “alleged militia extremist activity” in northwestern New Mexico.

Mr. Gabriel said that the following month, two F.B.I. agents went to a trailer park in Flora Vista, N.M., where Mr. Hopkins was living at the time. With Mr. Hopkins’s consent, the agents entered the home and saw about 10 firearms in plain view, in what Mr. Hopkins referred to as his office.

Mr. Hopkins, who has also used the name Johnny Horton Jr., told the agents that the guns belonged to Fay Sanders Murphy, whom he described to agents as his common-law wife, according to the affidavit. The agents collected at least nine firearms from the home as evidence, including a 12-gauge shotgun and various handguns.
It’s not clear why the FBI agents didn’t arrest Hopkins at the time, but instead waited till last week, when videos of his militia’s actions surfaced online.

O’Connell says Hopkins plans to plead not guilty to the charges of possessing firearms, and questioned why he was arrested at this time, suggesting that pressure from New Mexico Democrats might be a factor. O’Connell himself was a conservative talk show host until 2017.

“I’m not a militia specialist,” O’Connell told the Times. “They believe they are helping to enforce the laws of America on immigration.”

The UCP plans to remain in their encampment along the border in Sunland Park, NM, despite their leader’s arrest.

“We’re not leaving,” UCP spokesman Jim Benvie told the Times.

But rail transportation company Union Pacific says the group has trespassed on their land.

“They have trespassed on our property to access this camp,” a Union Pacific spokesman, Tim McMahan, told the Times. “While we cannot make them move their camp, we have asked them to not trespass on our property.”

Yes Virginia, there really are white supremacists camping out on the border. The few, the proud, the utterly delusional.

Not sure how much of a real threat they are, unless of course you happen to be a beleaguered illegal trying to cross in their immediate vicinity.

Hopkins, it turns out, is not just a militia leader, but a career criminal and conspiracy theorist. The Times runs down some of Hopkins long list of offenses, which includes felony possession of a loaded firearm in 1996, impersonating a police officer in 2006, and failure to pay child support in 2009.


In other words, just another loser who likes to play with guns and fantasize about being a hero. Not really much of a rap sheet. I don't doubt he ought to be disarmed, but I expect the threat to our way of life (or Hillary's) is overblown.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Eddie

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Re: Who They Are...
« Reply #121 on: April 23, 2019, 06:01:05 AM »
Hopkins reminds me of the kind of criminal Arlo Guthrie once described as "The Last Guy".

In any other country they'd just say fuck him, but this is America and the FBI cannot discriminate.

If this is the best the fascists have got,  our way of life is not in danger. I'm way more worried about the FBI.



Mug Shot from Previous Arrest For Impersonating Elvis
(just kidding).


What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Surly1

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The challenge to icon Milton Friedman.
« Reply #122 on: April 26, 2019, 06:37:28 AM »
The challenge to icon Milton Friedman.
19 years after his death, Nobel laureate Milton Friedman continues to exert a dominant hold on public opinion with his stark call for a stripped-down, profit-making-only role for business.

https://www.axios.com/newsletters/axios-future-27836794-8fd4-4a97-8d4b-3eecfe7518db.html?chunk=0#story0



When hedge fund CEOs, presidential candidates and college professors shout that something is wrong with capitalism as practiced, they are — unwittingly in most cases — attacking a long-deceased, 800-pound gorilla in the economy.

Nineteen years after his death, Nobel laureate Milton Friedman — a 5-foot-tall University of Chicago economist — continues to exert a dominant hold on public opinion with his stark call for a stripped-down, profit-making-only role for business.

But the Friedman Doctrine, as some call it, is under threat as Americans attempt to make sense of the anger in the roiled U.S. heartland, beset by hollowed-out cities, bankrupt pension plans, and decades of flat wages.

What's happening: In recent months, hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, numerous Democratic presidential candidates and others have called for a more socially minded corporate America.

But if Friedman were alive, he with mighty certainty would have some choice words in response.

Friedman's thinking was best boiled down in a 1970 essay in the NYT magazine in which he called a business focus on social outcomes "pure unadulterated socialism."

Writing amid the public turmoil flowing from the Vietnam War and attacks on corporations, he said businessmen who embrace social responsibility were "unwitting puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades."
The sole duty of a corporation was not to get involved with social good, but "make as much money as possible while conforming to their basic rules of the society."

Over the subsequent years and decades, Friedman's philosophy became orthodoxy, visible in tax law, accounting standards, business school curricula, and deep-seated corporate and societal attitudes. "There is a 'before-Friedman' and an 'after-Friedman' when it comes to corporate social responsibility," said Jennifer Burns, a professor at Stanford and the author of a forthcoming biography of Friedman.

In his defense, scholars say Friedman cleared away prior decades of muddle-headed corporate inefficiency because he "understood that by having corporations focus on one objective, we can hold them accountable," said Charles Calomiris, a professor at Columbia University.

But critics say corporate America needs to take a broader view of its societal role, including greater responsibility for employees and their community. Friedman "fit an earlier age very well — when excessive regulation, taxation and New Deal-era controls held back American business competitiveness," said Bruce Mehlman, a leading policy lobbyist.

"But the right answer for 1970s America is no longer optimal for 2020 America. Friedman was visionary for his time, but the pendulum needs to swing back," said Mehlman, whose latest presentation includes a slide on Friedman (slide 19).

Dalio's and Fink's firms did not respond to requests for comment. But leading economists contacted for this post said they do not see a lot of meat in complaints voiced by the business community and others:

Larry Summers, a professor at Harvard and director of the National Economic Council under President Obama, said that the Friedman Doctrine "is being more seriously attacked by commentators, but I don’t anticipate big changes in practice."

"Despite some noise from far-left Democratic candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, I don’t see any prospects for change in the current philosophy of American corporations in maximizing shareholder value," said Robert Gordon, a leading economist at Northwestern.

"We need tax-based reallocation and investment, as well as increased worker and environmental protection to make a positive change," said Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "Milton Friedman opposed that too, which his view on profits reinforces."
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Providing the template for the flavor of thoughtful consideration that should be extended to right wing ideologues and Trumpsuckers everywhere.

CNN’s W. Kamau Bell Fires Back at Fox News Host Tucker Carlson: ‘Fuck Him’
On this episode of ‘The Last Laugh,’ comedian W. Kamau Bell talks about the new season of ‘United Shades of America’ and tells us how he really feels about Tucker Carlson.




Fox News host Tucker Carlson makes a brief cameo in the new season of comedian W. Kamau Bell’s CNN series United Shades of America.

In the second episode of the travel show’s fourth season—Bell, who interviewed members of the Ku Klux Klan for his 2016 premiere, has joked that he “samples racism” the way Anthony Bourdain sampled food—we see a clip of Carlson labeling him a leader of the Antifa movement after he spoke at an anti-hate rally in his native Berkeley.

At the time, Bell really wanted to clap back at Carlson on social media, but CNN convinced him to hold his fire.

“CNN was worried about looking like they are at war with Fox News,” Bell tells me during our conversation for this week’s episode ofThe Last Laugh podcast. “So they sort of talked to me about, hey, don’t get in a war with Tucker Carlson.” He managed to restrain himself in the moment. “But I’m going to hold this,” he remembers thinking. “I’m a comedian and an only child. So I keep grudges.”

The comedian also reveals that Carlson’s bookers at Fox reached out to CNN to try to get him on his show. Even if CNN had allowed it, “There is no circumstance in which I would do that,” he says. “I’d rather talk to the Klan again. At least they’re honest.”

Highlights from our conversation are below and you can listen to the whole thing right now by subscribing to The Last Laugh on Apple Podcasts, the Himalaya appor wherever you listen to podcasts.

On engaging with people on the other end of the political spectrum

“Despite what maybe my wife would think, I’m a really good listener. I don’t have to agree with you to listen to you. I think a lot of times it’s important, especially when you disagree with someone, to be quiet and let them get all their stuff out. Because people are so ready to be interrupted when they know they’re saying something you don’t agree with. And if you interrupt them, it very quickly derails the conversation into a battle of who can talk louder or faster. And you see that all the time on TV.”

On Tucker Carlson labeling him a leader of Antifa

“Oh, fuck him. So that happened right around the time there were all these alt-right marches in Berkeley. And the first time it happened, Berkeley didn’t take it that seriously. Then they came back another time and Berkeley didn’t take it that seriously, and then the third time every anti-racist activist in the surrounding area showed up and outnumbered them and I was a part of that. That’s why I went, not to confront them—there were fights that broke out—but most people just went to show that we’re going to put our bodies here to show that you’re not going to take over this area. It’s not OK. They gave me a megaphone at one point and I was like, ‘This is the Berkeley I believe in and we’re all here together showing up.’ And Tucker Carlson clipped out the ‘Bye, Nazis, bye’ part, as if that’s a bad thing to say. He manipulated it to say that I was somehow part of Antifa and Antifa’s a ‘hate’ organization so therefore W. Kamau Bell peddles hate.”

Why he’s not so sure about his hometown candidate Kamala Harris

“You know, there are a lot of black men in jail because of Kamala Harris. And in jail for too long because of Kamala Harris. She certainly is a popular figure in the Bay Area, but she’s not popular with the most progressive people. So for me, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t vote for Kamala Harris, but I’m not here to stump for anybody right now.”

Why diverse late-night hosts deserve a chance

“[The cancelation of The Rundown with] Robin Thede was disheartening just because I don’t know what BET expected to happen with that show. They had never done a show like that before so it seemed to me they could have just kept it on forever. Because it’s going to get better as she goes and she’s going to find her voice. I mean, remember when Trevor Noah first had [The Daily Show]? There’s some people who still haven’t taken to Trevor Noah but he’s also found a new audience that didn’t watch it before. But he’s grown a lot because Comedy Central knew it was an investment. They weren’t going to pull the new host of The Daily Show three months in, or a year in. Giving talented people a chance is how talented people make good things. Michelle Wolf didn’t have much of a chance. And if people feel like the minute you make a mistake you’re going to pull them, then they’re going to make more mistakes, or not take big chances.”

Why he has no problem performing comedy for ‘woke’ college students

“I think there was the idea that college gigs would be more fun, because the audiences are younger and hipper, but any gig you play where it’s a defined, closed-off community, it’s going to be harder. Any gig where the audience knows each other more than they know you and they’re walking in as a group, that’s a harder gig. Colleges are automatically more sensitive, because they’re all there having their brains stretched and being lectured every day about how to be in the world. And they may have come from some seminar about consent or binge-drinking, so they’re thinking about all this stuff. And they’re just more sensitive than your average audience, because college is not the real world. For me, when comedians complain about colleges, don’t play them. The comedy club is the fun thing, the colleges aren’t supposed to be fun. That’s work.”

Next week onThe Last Laugh podcast: Host of TBS’s Full Frontal, Samantha Bee.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Team America, Fuck Yeah! Becuz freedom... and gun company profits.

Google "Colorado shooting" and now to have several to choose from, Columbine, Aurora, and now this shooting at STEM School. We are told Colorado school shooting victim Kendrick Castillo died trying to stop the gunman, and that the vigil in his name erupted in protest over concerns the event inappropriately politicized their grief.

Nineteen weeks into 2019, there have already been 15 school shootings in the US in which someone was hurt or killed. They have occurred across the country, from Georgia to California, at elementary, middle and high schools and on college and university campuses. Here's a list: https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/08/us/school-shootings-us-2019-trnd/index.html

Given our circumstances, this article is still right on time.


America’s Failure to Protect Its Children from School Shootings Is a National Disgrace


An event like the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, is no longer considered an aberration in the United States.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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List of mass shootings in the United States in 2019
« Reply #125 on: May 09, 2019, 10:08:28 AM »
So I got curious and looked up the facts. This is what I found.

In the student debt thread we have adequately documented our collective lack of desire to invest in the future of the coming generation. No matter who is responsible for the debt, the fact that, within two generations, have turned educational assistance into another bankster profit c enter says everything about our priorities...

Now the evidence suggests that no longer are we interested in helping students plan for there futures, we are not even interested in guaranteeing their safety. 15 school shootings in the first third of the year, and 116 mass shootings overall. Here is the documentation.

More datapoints indicating terminal decline. The looting continues in full force, and the people referred to in this list are merely collateral damage. Breakage.

List of mass shootings in the United States in 2019

Follow the link to see the entire list. I tried to paste it here but it resulted ins a code overrun and the brown screen of death.

« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 10:27:07 AM by Surly1 »
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

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In a time of ever increasing violence of this sort which is pretty random, protecting against it is quite a challenge.

While we certainly have an epidemic problem ongoing in the FSoA, it pales in comparison to the non-stop bombings that occur in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India...etc, etc, etc.  Hundreds of people at a time are regularly sent to the great beyond in those actions.

With random violence, you don't know where the next calamity will strike.  Putting up defensive measures at every school would first off be very expensive and probably outside the school budget and would need a reduction in the number of teachers to pay for more security guards.  Besides that, the atmosphere for the kids of going to school every day with metal detectors at the doors and armed security guards in the classroom isn't too pychologically healthy.  A constant state of fear is no way to go through childhood of course.

The "answer" often floated is stricter Gun Control, but as I have pointed out on many prior occasions on this, the horse left the barn on that one decades ago in the FSoA.  If you wanna get a gun and have some cash, you can get one, there are zillions of them floating around the black market.  With a profit motive, they'll magically cross the border from Mejico a lot faster than migrants do, customs agents paid off well to "miss" them as they go through perfunctory checks of trucks and carz crossing the border.

It's a fact of life as we spin down in collapse.  It's not likely to get better no matter what measures are taken.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Surly1

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In a time of ever increasing violence of this sort which is pretty random, protecting against it is quite a challenge.

While we certainly have an epidemic problem ongoing in the FSoA, it pales in comparison to the non-stop bombings that occur in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India...etc, etc, etc.  Hundreds of people at a time are regularly sent to the great beyond in those actions.

With random violence, you don't know where the next calamity will strike.  Putting up defensive measures at every school would first off be very expensive and probably outside the school budget and would need a reduction in the number of teachers to pay for more security guards.  Besides that, the atmosphere for the kids of going to school every day with metal detectors at the doors and armed security guards in the classroom isn't too pychologically healthy.  A constant state of fear is no way to go through childhood of course.

The "answer" often floated is stricter Gun Control, but as I have pointed out on many prior occasions on this, the horse left the barn on that one decades ago in the FSoA.  If you wanna get a gun and have some cash, you can get one, there are zillions of them floating around the black market.  With a profit motive, they'll magically cross the border from Mejico a lot faster than migrants do, customs agents paid off well to "miss" them as they go through perfunctory checks of trucks and carz crossing the border.

It's a fact of life as we spin down in collapse.  It's not likely to get better no matter what measures are taken.

RE

I agree with you about the weapons. too many to count... or license. I'd start by removing the immunity from liability suits than weapons manufacturers enjoy, and sue the tits off these greedheads. Go right for the pocketbook.

The "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products in most circumstances. It was signed into law on October 26, 2005, by Dubya, and was one of Wayne LaPierre's signature achievements in delivering the mail for his constituents.

The law really narrows the bases upon which manufacturers can be sued. Although the Connecticut Supreme Court in March reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook shooting against Remington Arms, manufacturer of the rifle used in the shooting. It was a narrow decision that rules that Remington can be sued over its marketing practices under a Connecticut state law, despite protections offered to gun manufacturers by federal law. It  goes back to a lower state court, and how this ends up is anyone's guess.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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“The rotting carcass stinking up the Republicans’ back rooms”
« Reply #128 on: May 10, 2019, 04:16:55 AM »
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/09/matt-shea-republican-stokes-fears-civil-war-conspiracy-theories]Exposed: the Republican who stokes fears of civil war and fuels conspiracy theories. [/url]

Washington state representative Matt Shea has spoken on podcast topics on the ‘US civil war’, the ‘balkanization’ of the US and ‘communists’



As a guest on a podcast in 2018, Matt Shea said: ‘Essentially we already live in two countries.’ Photograph: Ted S Warren/AP

In podcasts recorded over the last several years, the Washington stateRepublican representative Matt Shea has amplified far-right conspiracy theories, stoked fears of civil war and speculated about the breakup of the United States.

Shea appeared as a guest in 2018 on the podcast Prepper Recon, hosted by “Christian constitutional author” Mark Goodwin, who writes apocalyptic survivalist fiction. Shea spoke on the podcast topic, “US civil war is coming”, and the “balkanization” of the United States.

At one point, Shea said “essentially we already live in two countries”. Asked by Goodwin if the two halves of America could continue to coexist, Shea said: “You know, I don’t think we can, and a lot of people would be kind of stunned maybe by that. I don’t think we can, again, because you have half that want to follow the Lord and righteousness and half that don’t, and I don’t know how that can stand.”

Shea predicted conservatives would hold out in “regions of freedom” like the American Redoubt, a geographical term for parts of the north-west US coined by another survivalist author, James Rawles, and the center of a rightwing “political migration” movement. In such regions, Shea said, people could “push back against the ever encroaching arm of the left, and more appropriately, the communists”.

Shea predicted that “more likely than not … some sort of Balkanization” was ahead, “because those regions of freedom are already forming right now”.

He added: “I think the right as Christian Patriots are ready at least in this area for what is about to happen.”

In his comments, Shea repeatedly stokes conspiracy theories with antisemitic overtones.

Asked if groups like Latinx advocacy organization UnidosUS (formerly La Raza) were working together with protest groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter, Shea claimed that these groups were also cooperating with other groups and were funded by the billionaire George Soros. “They are working together, it’s happening. They are very well connected through their networks, and their networks generally lead back to one George Soros, as you know,” he said.

Conspiracy theories about the influence of Soros – who is Jewish – have been disseminated broadly on the American right in recent years, despite the theories being widely denounced for reproducing antisemitic tropes.

Shea added: “If it could ever be proved that George Soros is arming the left in the United States, I think that would be enough to at least try to prosecute him”.

Shea did not respond to the Guardian’s requests for comment.

Shea then talked about two other far-right conspiracy theories.

Referring to a UN warning about racism in the USA after Charlottesville, Shea claimed that international genocide treaties “can actually allow the United Nations to deploy troops inside the United States of America if that treaty is invoked”.

As for camps set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency – which have long been held by the far right to be an infrastructure for detaining US citizens in concentration camp-like conditions – Shea said the National Shelter System “literally has a list of all the places people could be sheltered in and refugee camps created”, adding, “Could these then be used for nefarious purposes later? Sure!”

Conspiracy theories about Fema constructing facilities which would eventually serve as concentration camps for Americans were broadly held by members of the American militia movement in the 1990s.

The same is true of fears of a UN takeover of the United States, and the inception of a “New World Order”. More recently, these conspiracy theories have been partially mainstreamed by broadcasters like Alex Jones.

Shea’s own broadcasts on a Christian radio station are also released as a podcast, Patriot Radio. On this show, he has hosted a long string of far-right figures.

In October 2018, Shea hosted Alex Newman, a writer for the far-right John Birch Society’s New American magazine. Newman told Shea that “globalists” who constituted a “deep state behind the deep state” were orchestrating a “war on America … a war on humanity, a war on God”.

“We’re not just dealing with people we disagree with politically, we’re dealing with actual evil,” Newman added.

Shea offered that “a lot of people personify that evil with George Soros, you know, Dr Evil, he’s the guy. But there’s a lot more to it than that.”

Newman responded: “Soros is not the top of the pyramid … Soros got his start with Rothschild money.”

The Rothschild family have also long been staples of antisemitic conspiracy theory. The John Birch Society has consistently denied the charges of antisemitism which have dogged it since its heyday in the 1960s.

In April 2018, Shea hosted the conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi to talk about the “deep state”. In August that year, he spoke to Robert Spencer, whose anti-Muslim views were heavily cited in the manifesto of the Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik. The previous January, he spoke with “constitutional sheriff” Richard Mack, who has promoted ideas of “county supremacy”, which holds county sheriffs are the ultimate source of law in the US, not the federal government.

Shea’s most frequent podcast guest is Jack Robertson AKA John Jacob Schmidt, who in leaked chats with Shea spoke about violent fantasies about political opponents, as revealed in the Guardian.

In June 2018, Shea interviewed the Washington Republican house leader, JT Wilcox, who in recent weeks called parts of the leaked chats “wrong and deeply upsetting”, and promised an investigation into Shea’s involvement.

Shea’s leaked chats have been widely condemned. In a letter, House Democrats in Washington demanded Shea be stripped of his committee post and reprimanded. However, Wilcox responded that Shea was entitled to due process.

In the Spokesman Review, opinion pieces from members of the local Jewish community and Tina Podlodowski, chair of the Washington state Democratic central committee, criticized Shea on the basis of the chats and other actions. Podlodowski described Shea as “the rotting carcass stinking up the Republicans’ back rooms”.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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What Happens When a Bad-Tempered, Distractible Doofus Runs an Empire?
« Reply #129 on: May 12, 2019, 04:22:33 PM »
What Happens When a Bad-Tempered, Distractible Doofus Runs an Empire?


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During Kaiser Wilhelm II’s reign, the upper echelons of the German government began to unravel into a free-for-all, with officials wrangling against one another.Photograph by Hulton-Deutsch Collection / Corbis via Getty

One of the few things that Kaiser Wilhelm II, who ruled Germany from 1888 to 1918, had a talent for was causing outrage. A particular specialty was insulting other monarchs. He called the diminutive King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy “the dwarf” in front of the king’s own entourage. He called Prince (later Tsar) Ferdinand, of Bulgaria, “Fernando naso,” on account of his beaky nose, and spread rumors that he was a hermaphrodite. Since Wilhelm was notably indiscreet, people always knew what he was saying behind their backs. Ferdinand had his revenge. After a visit to Germany, in 1909, during which the Kaiser slapped him on the bottom in public and then refused to apologize, Ferdinand awarded a valuable arms contract that had been promised to the Germans to a French company instead.

Not that this deterred the Kaiser. One of the many things that Wilhelm was convinced he was brilliant at, despite all evidence to the contrary, was “personal diplomacy,” fixing foreign policy through one-on-one meetings with other European monarchs and statesmen. In fact, Wilhelm could do neither the personal nor the diplomacy, and these meetings rarely went well. The Kaiser viewed other people in instrumental terms, was a compulsive liar, and seemed to have a limited understanding of cause and effect. In 1890, he let lapse a long-standing defensive agreement with Russia—the German Empire’s vast and sometimes threatening eastern neighbor. He judged, wrongly, that Russia was so desperate for German good will that he could keep it dangling. Instead, Russia immediately made an alliance with Germany’s western neighbor and enemy, France. Wilhelm decided he would charm and manipulate Tsar Nicholas II (a “ninny” and a “whimperer,” according to Wilhelm, fit only “to grow turnips”) into abandoning the alliance. In 1897, Nicholas told Wilhelm to get lost; the German-Russian alliance withered.

About a decade ago, I published “George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I,” a book that was, in part, about Kaiser Wilhelm, who is probably best known for being Queen Victoria’s first grandchild and for leading Germany into the First World War. Ever since Donald Trump started campaigning for President, the Kaiser has once again been on my mind—his personal failings, and the global fallout they led to.

Trump’s tweets were what first reminded me of the Kaiser. Wilhelm was a compulsive speechmaker who constantly strayed off script. Even his staff couldn’t stop him, though it tried, distributing copies of speeches to the German press before he’d actually given them. Unfortunately, the Austrian press printed the speeches as they were delivered, and the gaffes and insults soon circulated around Europe. “There is only one person who is master in this empire and I am not going to tolerate any other,” Wilhelm liked to say, even though Germany had a democratic assembly and political parties. (“I’m the only one that matters,” Trump has said.) The Kaiser reserved particular abuse for political parties that voted against his policies. “I regard every Social Democrat as an enemy of the Fatherland,” he said, and he denounced the German Socialist party as a “gang of traitors.” August Bebel, the Socialist party leader, said that every time the Kaiser opened his mouth, the party gained another hundred thousand votes.

When Wilhelm became emperor, in 1888, at twenty-nine years old, he was determined to be seen as tough and powerful. He fetishized the Army, surrounded himself with generals (though, like Trump, he didn’t like listening to them), owned a hundred and twenty military uniforms, and wore little else. He cultivated a special severe facial expression for public occasions and photographs—there are many, as Wilhelm would send out signed photos and portrait busts to anyone who’d have one—and also a heavily waxed, upward-turned moustache that was so famous it had its own name, “Er ist Erreicht!” (It is accomplished!)

In fact, Wilhelm didn’t accomplish very much. The general staff of the German Army agreed that the Kaiser couldn’t “lead three soldiers over a gutter.” He had neither the attention span nor the ability. “Distractions, whether they are little games with his army or navy, travelling or hunting—are everything to him,” a disillusioned former mentor wrote. “He reads very little apart from newspaper cuttings, hardly writes anything himself apart from marginalia on reports and considers those talks best which are quickly over and done with.” The Kaiser’s entourage compiled press cuttings for him, mostly about himself, which he read as obsessively as Trump watches television. A critical story would send him into paroxysms of fury.

During Wilhelm’s reign, the upper echelons of the German government began to unravel into a free-for-all, with officials wrangling against one another. “The most contradictory opinions are now urged at high and all-highest level,” a German diplomat lamented. To add to the confusion, Wilhelm changed his position every five minutes. He was deeply suggestible and would defer to the last person he’d spoken to or cutting he’d read—at least until he’d spoken to the next person. “It is unendurable,” a foreign minister wrote, in 1894. “Today one thing and tomorrow the next and after a few days something completely different.” Wilhelm’s staff and ministers resorted to manipulation, distraction, and flattery to manage him. “In order to get him to accept an idea you must act as if the idea were his,” the Kaiser’s closest friend, Philipp zu Eulenburg, advised his colleagues, adding, “Don’t forget the sugar.” (In “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff writes that to get Trump to take an action his White House staff has to persuade him that “he had thought of it himself.”)

More sinisterly, Wilhelm’s patronage of the aggressive, nationalistic right left him surrounded by ministers who held a collective conviction that a European war was inevitable and even desirable. Alfred von Tirpitz, Germany’s Naval chief—who realized at his first meeting with the Kaiser that he did “not live in the real world”—consciously exploited Wilhelm’s envy and rage in order to extract the astronomical sums required to build a German Navy to rival Britain’s, a project that created an arms race and became an intractable block to peace negotiations.

The Kaiser was susceptible but never truly controllable. He asserted his authority unpredictably, as if to prove he was still in charge, staging rogue interventions into his own advisers’ policies and sacking ministers without warning. “You cannot have the faintest idea what I have prevented,” his most obsequious aide, Bernhard von Bülow, complained to a friend, “and how much of my time I must devote to restoring order where our All Highest Master has created chaos.”

The Kaiser’s darkest secret was that every few years—after his meddling and blunders had exposed his incompetence or resulted in a crisis—he would suffer a full-blown collapse. His entourage would scrape him off the floor, and he would retire to one of his palaces, where, prostrate, he would weep and complain that he’d been victimized. After the moaning came the pacing, in uncharacteristic silence. Occasionally he would give way to tears. Gradually he would recalibrate his sense of reality—or unreality—and after a few weeks would bounce up again, as boisterous and obstreperous as ever.

I spent six years writing my book about Wilhelm and his cousins, King George V, of England, and Tsar Nicholas II, and the Kaiser’s egotism and eccentricity made him by far the most entertaining of the three to write about. After a while, though, living with Wilhelm—as you do when you write about another person over a long period—became onerous. It was dispiriting, even oppressive, to spend so much time around someone who never learned, and never changed.

The Kaiser wasn’t singly responsible for the First World War, but his actions and choices helped to bring it on. If international conflict is around the corner, it would seem that you really don’t want a narcissist in control of a global power. Wilhelm’s touchiness, his unpredictability, his need to be acknowledged: these things struck a chord with elements in Germany, which was in a kind of adolescent spasm—quick to perceive slights, excited by the idea of flexing its muscles, filled with a sense of entitlement. At the same time, Wilhelm’s posturing raised tensions in Europe. His clumsy personal diplomacy created suspicion. His alliance with the vitriolic right and his slavish admiration for the Army inched the country closer and closer to war. Once the war was actually upon him, the government and military effectively swept the Kaiser aside. And the gravest damage occurred only after Wilhelm abdicated, in November of 1918. (He spent the rest of his life—he survived until 1941—in central Holland.) The defeated Germany sank into years of depression, resentments sharpened, the toxic lie that Germany had been “robbed” of its rightful victory in the war took hold. The rest, as they say, is history.

I’m not suggesting that Trump is about to start the Third World War. But recent foreign developments—the wild swings with North Korea, the ditching of the Iran nuclear deal, the threat of a trade war with China—suggest upheavals that could quickly grow out of American control. Some of Trump’s critics suppose that these escalating crises might cause him to loosen, or even lose, his grip on the Presidency. The real lesson of Kaiser Wilhelm II, however, may be that Trump’s leaving office might not be the end of the problems he may bring on or exacerbate—it may be only the beginning.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: What Happens When a Bad-Tempered, Distractible Doofus Runs an Empire?
« Reply #130 on: May 12, 2019, 04:31:14 PM »
What Happens When a Bad-Tempered, Distractible Doofus Runs an Empire?


.
During Kaiser Wilhelm II’s reign, the upper echelons of the German government began to unravel into a free-for-all, with officials wrangling against one another.Photograph by Hulton-Deutsch Collection / Corbis via Getty

One of the few things that Kaiser Wilhelm II, who ruled Germany from 1888 to 1918, had a talent for was causing outrage. A particular specialty was insulting other monarchs. He called the diminutive King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy “the dwarf” in front of the king’s own entourage. He called Prince (later Tsar) Ferdinand, of Bulgaria, “Fernando naso,” on account of his beaky nose, and spread rumors that he was a hermaphrodite. Since Wilhelm was notably indiscreet, people always knew what he was saying behind their backs. Ferdinand had his revenge. After a visit to Germany, in 1909, during which the Kaiser slapped him on the bottom in public and then refused to apologize, Ferdinand awarded a valuable arms contract that had been promised to the Germans to a French company instead.

Not that this deterred the Kaiser. One of the many things that Wilhelm was convinced he was brilliant at, despite all evidence to the contrary, was “personal diplomacy,” fixing foreign policy through one-on-one meetings with other European monarchs and statesmen. In fact, Wilhelm could do neither the personal nor the diplomacy, and these meetings rarely went well. The Kaiser viewed other people in instrumental terms, was a compulsive liar, and seemed to have a limited understanding of cause and effect. In 1890, he let lapse a long-standing defensive agreement with Russia—the German Empire’s vast and sometimes threatening eastern neighbor. He judged, wrongly, that Russia was so desperate for German good will that he could keep it dangling. Instead, Russia immediately made an alliance with Germany’s western neighbor and enemy, France. Wilhelm decided he would charm and manipulate Tsar Nicholas II (a “ninny” and a “whimperer,” according to Wilhelm, fit only “to grow turnips”) into abandoning the alliance. In 1897, Nicholas told Wilhelm to get lost; the German-Russian alliance withered.

About a decade ago, I published “George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I,” a book that was, in part, about Kaiser Wilhelm, who is probably best known for being Queen Victoria’s first grandchild and for leading Germany into the First World War. Ever since Donald Trump started campaigning for President, the Kaiser has once again been on my mind—his personal failings, and the global fallout they led to.

Trump’s tweets were what first reminded me of the Kaiser. Wilhelm was a compulsive speechmaker who constantly strayed off script. Even his staff couldn’t stop him, though it tried, distributing copies of speeches to the German press before he’d actually given them. Unfortunately, the Austrian press printed the speeches as they were delivered, and the gaffes and insults soon circulated around Europe. “There is only one person who is master in this empire and I am not going to tolerate any other,” Wilhelm liked to say, even though Germany had a democratic assembly and political parties. (“I’m the only one that matters,” Trump has said.) The Kaiser reserved particular abuse for political parties that voted against his policies. “I regard every Social Democrat as an enemy of the Fatherland,” he said, and he denounced the German Socialist party as a “gang of traitors.” August Bebel, the Socialist party leader, said that every time the Kaiser opened his mouth, the party gained another hundred thousand votes.

When Wilhelm became emperor, in 1888, at twenty-nine years old, he was determined to be seen as tough and powerful. He fetishized the Army, surrounded himself with generals (though, like Trump, he didn’t like listening to them), owned a hundred and twenty military uniforms, and wore little else. He cultivated a special severe facial expression for public occasions and photographs—there are many, as Wilhelm would send out signed photos and portrait busts to anyone who’d have one—and also a heavily waxed, upward-turned moustache that was so famous it had its own name, “Er ist Erreicht!” (It is accomplished!)

In fact, Wilhelm didn’t accomplish very much. The general staff of the German Army agreed that the Kaiser couldn’t “lead three soldiers over a gutter.” He had neither the attention span nor the ability. “Distractions, whether they are little games with his army or navy, travelling or hunting—are everything to him,” a disillusioned former mentor wrote. “He reads very little apart from newspaper cuttings, hardly writes anything himself apart from marginalia on reports and considers those talks best which are quickly over and done with.” The Kaiser’s entourage compiled press cuttings for him, mostly about himself, which he read as obsessively as Trump watches television. A critical story would send him into paroxysms of fury.

During Wilhelm’s reign, the upper echelons of the German government began to unravel into a free-for-all, with officials wrangling against one another. “The most contradictory opinions are now urged at high and all-highest level,” a German diplomat lamented. To add to the confusion, Wilhelm changed his position every five minutes. He was deeply suggestible and would defer to the last person he’d spoken to or cutting he’d read—at least until he’d spoken to the next person. “It is unendurable,” a foreign minister wrote, in 1894. “Today one thing and tomorrow the next and after a few days something completely different.” Wilhelm’s staff and ministers resorted to manipulation, distraction, and flattery to manage him. “In order to get him to accept an idea you must act as if the idea were his,” the Kaiser’s closest friend, Philipp zu Eulenburg, advised his colleagues, adding, “Don’t forget the sugar.” (In “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff writes that to get Trump to take an action his White House staff has to persuade him that “he had thought of it himself.”)

More sinisterly, Wilhelm’s patronage of the aggressive, nationalistic right left him surrounded by ministers who held a collective conviction that a European war was inevitable and even desirable. Alfred von Tirpitz, Germany’s Naval chief—who realized at his first meeting with the Kaiser that he did “not live in the real world”—consciously exploited Wilhelm’s envy and rage in order to extract the astronomical sums required to build a German Navy to rival Britain’s, a project that created an arms race and became an intractable block to peace negotiations.

The Kaiser was susceptible but never truly controllable. He asserted his authority unpredictably, as if to prove he was still in charge, staging rogue interventions into his own advisers’ policies and sacking ministers without warning. “You cannot have the faintest idea what I have prevented,” his most obsequious aide, Bernhard von Bülow, complained to a friend, “and how much of my time I must devote to restoring order where our All Highest Master has created chaos.”

The Kaiser’s darkest secret was that every few years—after his meddling and blunders had exposed his incompetence or resulted in a crisis—he would suffer a full-blown collapse. His entourage would scrape him off the floor, and he would retire to one of his palaces, where, prostrate, he would weep and complain that he’d been victimized. After the moaning came the pacing, in uncharacteristic silence. Occasionally he would give way to tears. Gradually he would recalibrate his sense of reality—or unreality—and after a few weeks would bounce up again, as boisterous and obstreperous as ever.

I spent six years writing my book about Wilhelm and his cousins, King George V, of England, and Tsar Nicholas II, and the Kaiser’s egotism and eccentricity made him by far the most entertaining of the three to write about. After a while, though, living with Wilhelm—as you do when you write about another person over a long period—became onerous. It was dispiriting, even oppressive, to spend so much time around someone who never learned, and never changed.

The Kaiser wasn’t singly responsible for the First World War, but his actions and choices helped to bring it on. If international conflict is around the corner, it would seem that you really don’t want a narcissist in control of a global power. Wilhelm’s touchiness, his unpredictability, his need to be acknowledged: these things struck a chord with elements in Germany, which was in a kind of adolescent spasm—quick to perceive slights, excited by the idea of flexing its muscles, filled with a sense of entitlement. At the same time, Wilhelm’s posturing raised tensions in Europe. His clumsy personal diplomacy created suspicion. His alliance with the vitriolic right and his slavish admiration for the Army inched the country closer and closer to war. Once the war was actually upon him, the government and military effectively swept the Kaiser aside. And the gravest damage occurred only after Wilhelm abdicated, in November of 1918. (He spent the rest of his life—he survived until 1941—in central Holland.) The defeated Germany sank into years of depression, resentments sharpened, the toxic lie that Germany had been “robbed” of its rightful victory in the war took hold. The rest, as they say, is history.

I’m not suggesting that Trump is about to start the Third World War. But recent foreign developments—the wild swings with North Korea, the ditching of the Iran nuclear deal, the threat of a trade war with China—suggest upheavals that could quickly grow out of American control. Some of Trump’s critics suppose that these escalating crises might cause him to loosen, or even lose, his grip on the Presidency. The real lesson of Kaiser Wilhelm II, however, may be that Trump’s leaving office might not be the end of the problems he may bring on or exacerbate—it may be only the beginning.



Quite the Natty there Surly. Love the HIDDEN Thumb, hmmmm. Jeez, Nappy Bon apetite' got the whole hand. he musta' had better clout
with the Phoenician's than Big Bad Bill.

Love the pic, old school HD  :icon_sunny:
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 04:48:53 AM by Surly1 »
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

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When they tell you what they are going to do, believe them. Today's delusional nutcase is tomorrow's High Priest and Minister for Religious Re-indoctrination.

Two words: Mein Kampf.

Christian TV Host Rick Wiles: We Will Impose Christian Rule In This Country

MAY 17, 2019 BY

Dreams of a Christian theocracy: Christian TV Host Rick Wiles claims that conservative Christians will “impose Christian rule in this country.”

Right Wing Watch reports that Wiles, host of TruNews, a television “news” program produced for conservative Christians, “praised Alabama’s radical new anti-abortion lawand warned that those who support reproductive rights will spend eternity being ‘aborted continuously forever’ by demons in Hell” on the Wednesday night edition of his program.

Wiles returned to that theme On Thursday night’s program Wiles continued to discuss the recent abortion law, citing an op-ed from the Israeli paper Haaretz and written by Debra Nussbaum Cohen. In her post Cohen wrote:

[Alabama’s new abortion law is] a threat to my religious freedom as a Jew … because according to classical Jewish text and most rabbinic interpreters, a developing embryo or fetus is not ‘an unborn child’ or ‘person,’ but has the legal status of an appendage of the pregnant woman. It is part of her body, not a separate person, until the moment that a majority of a viable baby capable of independent life has been born.”

After reading from Cohen’s post Wiles launched into a wild anti-semitic rant where he argued that Christians are going to take back America from the Jews and “impose Christian rule.

In his rant Wiles said:

We Christians are standing up and pushing out Zionism. That’s what we’re doing. Zionism brought the slaughter of 65 million babies to America and we’re going to end it and we are going to impose Christian rule in this country.

Why are you imposing Judaism on me? Because that’s exactly what’s been done in America since 1973 with Roe v. Wade. Judaism was imposed on me, on my Christian nation and we became a Jewish nation that kills babies. That’s against my Christian beliefs.

Judaism became the law of the land in America. That’s precisely what the courts have ruled. They have based their rulings on the Zohar, on the Talmud, and now we have Zionistic Talmudic law ruling this country and resulting in the death of millions of babies.

We Christians are standing up and we’re telling you that we’re done with Zionism, we’re done with your values. We are going to impose Christian values in America again, whether you like it or not.

Wiles is a popular but controversial conservative Christian leader prone to making outrageous and idiotic claims.

For example, last October, right before the 2018 midterm elections, Wiles warned his viewers that if Democrats won the election they would slaughter “tens of thousands of Christians.” Yet even though the Democrats did win the House in the midterm election, as of today, there have been no reports of Christians being slaughtered.

Another example of Wiles being a conservative Christian idiot: Last summer the Christian TV host warned his followers that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was preparing to lead a bloody coup to overthrow the Trump administration. Wiles, commenting on a Maddow segment in which the MSNBC host argued that the U.S. must prepare for “the worst case scenario that Trump is compromised by Russia,” declared:

America, you’ve been homosexualized. You’ve been Jewdy-ized. I’m just telling it how it is. She (Maddow) was spewing out, last night, calls for revolution. She was telling the left, ‘Take a deep breath, we’re at the moment, it’s coming, we’re almost there, we’re going to remove him from the White House.’ We’re about 72 hours — possibly 72 hours — from a coup.

Be prepared that you’re going to turn on the television and see helicopters hovering over the roof of the White House with men clad in black rappelling down ropes, entering into the White House. Be prepared for a shoot out in the White House as Secret Service agents shoot commandos coming in to arrest President Trump.

That is how close we are to a revolution. Be prepared for a mob — a leftist mob — to tear down the gates, the fence at the White House and to go into the White House and to drag him out with his family and decapitate them on the lawn of the White House.

Needless to say, Maddow did not lead a bloody coup, to the great disappointment of many.

Bottom line: Christian TV Host Rick Wiles claims that conservative Christians will “impose Christian rule in this country.”

Christian TV Host Rick Wiles: We Will Impose Christian Rule In This Country (Image via Screen Grab)
Christian TV Host Rick Wiles: We Will Impose Christian Rule In This Country (Image via Screen Grab)
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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How Fox News pushed a debunked conspiracy theory
« Reply #132 on: Today at 05:28:23 AM »

How Fox News pushed a debunked conspiracy theory -- and then rewarded those involved

Seth Rich and Fox News
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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When they tell you what they are going to do, believe them. Today's delusional nutcase is tomorrow's High Priest and Minister for Religious Re-indoctrination.

Two words: Mein Kampf.

They already have.  Just ask a bankruptcy lawyer.

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When they tell you what they are going to do, believe them. Today's delusional nutcase is tomorrow's High Priest and Minister for Religious Re-indoctrination.

Two words: Mein Kampf.




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I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

 

Two years ago, Fox News published a story that promoted the conspiracy theory that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, and not the Russians, had provided DNC emails to Wikileaks. Fox would retract the story a week later, before promising an investigation. That investigation never actually happened -- so we did it for them.

There were five parts to the investigation -- and a comprehensive timeline as well:

  • Part 1: Horrible sourcing led to the discredited report. The report that led to the entire event was sourced to a "federal investigator" from an unnamed government agency. The only corroboration was then-Fox contributor Rod Wheeler saying his investigation was "consistent" with that allegation. Based on this flimsy (at best) evidence, Fox published a story that Rich was a source for WikiLeaks, and that Democrats were engaged in a widespread effort to cover it up.
  • Part 2: Fox's "news" side correspondent pushed the conspiracy theory on air. Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins reported on this story for Fox & Friends, putting the credibility of Fox's news side behind it. Jenkins hyped "bombshell new evidence" and even vouched for Wheeler at one point.
  • Part 3: Laura Ingraham's ghastly attack on Seth Rich's family. At one point during Fox & Friends's coverage of this conspiracy theory, Laura Ingraham suggested that Rich's parents were squelching efforts to find out the truth about their son’s death for partisan or monetary gain.
  • Part 4: Jay Sekulow helped Hannity promote the conspiracy theory -- and then became Trump's lawyer. Just a few weeks before he became Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show to express support for the conspiracy theory about Seth Rich. Sekulow's motives were clear, saying “I think this whole Russian argument, Sean, is such subterfuge from reality.”
  • Part 5: Everyone involved was rewarded . How did Fox News responded to this retracted report? As far as we know, no one was punished. In fact, several people involved were actually promoted. The person who edited the story was promoted to managing editor of FoxNews.com. Hannity's executive producer at the time was promoted to vice president and editor-in-chief of Fox News digital. Laura Ingraham was given her own show (where predictably enough she faced backlash for going after the family and friends of victims of gun violence). Newt Gingrich still appears regularly on the network. And, of course, Hannity has faced no negative consequences whatsoever. As one senior Fox employee told CNN at the time: "No one ever gets fired from Fox for publishing a story that isn't true."
  • A complete timeline. We've put all the relevant information in one place, in an easy to download and easy to read PDF.

So, why do this? There are some powerful people even today who think that Fox News is like any other news organization, save for a few bigoted opinion hosts. Those people are wrong. Fox News takes conspiracy theories from the fever swamps, and injects them into mainstream GOP politics. It rewards people who participate in this farce, no matter what they got wrong. Fox News is rotten to the core, and sadly, too many people still don't realize it.