Trump’s MAGA “boogaloo” agent provocateurs make things much worse

Donald Trump in Long Island on July 28, 2017, in front of an adoring crowd of racist cops

Following the bad council of Donald Trump, George Floyd was murdered by a police officer while 3 others helped has the leader was intentionally kneeling on his throat during this so-called arrest. The bad luck for these murderous cops was cell phone cameras captured the whole thing. Images of a handcuffed black man lying face-down on the street, under the knee of a white police officer, quickly flew around the world. But Trump’s many MAGA white supremacist supporters saw the opportunity to spark the chaos and civil war Trump has been pursuing since the beginning of his campaign.

There are serious reports that the far-right “boogaloo” agent provocateurs embedded themselves among the protesters in Minneapolis. Burning black-owned businesses and community NGO’s. The man breaking the AutoZone windows and the man lighting the Molotov cocktail in the video appear to be white provocateurs.

Just watch how Donald Trump reacts to the unrest in Minneapolis and begins calling for “law and order.” Trump is taking the racist killing of a black man by white cops and trying to incite a race war. This is the kind of opportunity he’s been waiting for. There are already more than 100,000 dead on his watch mostly human beings of color. He really on a roll now. Vladimir loves this shit.

UPDATE:

 

Attorney General Bill Barr was slammed by the former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Saturday for misleading Americans about the source of violence at the protests over the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.

“There’s evidence developing, Brian, that the organization we’re seeing of the most violent protesters is coming from a couple of disturbing places,” both, by the way, there’s disparate in terms in being from the right or the left. here’s what those who monitor these groups and sites are seeing.

“We’re seeing a far-right group, one group for example known as the Boogaloo Bois, who on their private Facebook page and social media outlets are calling for violence, calling for people to show up,” Frank Figliuzzi told MSNBC’s Brian Williams.

.“We’re seeing evidence in the protests that right-wing dangerous militia groups are there. We’ve seen flags and symbols that come from both Boogaloo Bois and dangerous militia groups,” he warned. “On the far-left, we’re seeing some evidence developing of global anarchists showing up.”

“So we’re seeing a strange alignment occurring by some groups who are anti-government on the right and therefore anti-police because they think the police are too oppressive to them, aligning themselves with people like Black Lives Matter and saying, ‘hey, we’re one because we both don’t like the police,’ but I’m here to tell you they are not one, their intention is to destroy government and the system of justice, as opposed to calling for justice within the system.”

“What do we do about it?” Williams asked.

“Well, ordinarily we’d rely on our system and mechanisms and rule of law, but here’s two things significant that happened today that caused me to be deeply troubled about the summer ahead. The attorney general, William Barr held a press conference where he chose selectively just the intelligence that indicates there’s far-left agitators within the protest groups,” Figliuzzi noted.

 

Raw Story

Poor, poor pitiful Trump! He’s finally being fact-checked 

Although Crybaby Donald Trump has used Twitter incessantly to promote himself, he has been furious with the social media outlet this week for fact-checking two of his tweets — so furious that on Thursday, he issued an executive order targeting social media companies and claimed that he did so to “defend free speech.” Twitter hasn’t removed any of Trump’s tweets but has flagged or hidden them as inaccurate or violent. While legal scholars have been asserting that the order cannot withstand legal scrutiny, Media Matters’ Matt Gertz stresses that it serves a useful purpose for Trump nonetheless — and that purpose has been identified by the “notoriously stupid” Fox News host Steve Doocy.

“Donald Trump capped off a multi-day tantrum at Twitter for appending a mild fact-check to one of his false tweets by retaliating with the power of the federal government,” Gertz explains. “The executive order he signed Thursday is slapdash and incoherent, rooted in a false premise, hypocritical and potentially unconstitutional, legally unenforceable yet dangerously authoritarian, with sections that read like a Fox News screed. But to analyze the executive order’s flaws is to miss the point entirely.”

That purpose, according to Gertz, is “raising the cost of defiance until his perceived enemies break” — and the executive order “forces Twitter to expend resources fighting it, but if the company bends to Trump and does what he wants, maybe it will just go away.”

Steve Doocy of all people — the notoriously stupid ‘Fox & Friends’ host who is one of the president’s favorite cable news personalities — (inadvertently) nailed it on Wednesday,” Gertz notes. “Social media companies would face ‘a big headache’ if Trump tried to repeal the section of federal law that the executive order targets, he exclaimed, so ‘they might think twice about putting a footnote on a tweet from”.. Trump

Gertz emphasizes that with his executive order, Trump is “drawing a line between companies that defy him and are punished and those that work to benefit him and receive praise.” Trump, Gertz observes, “lauded Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for criticizing Twitter’s decision to fact-check him.”

Zuckerberg is the poster child for what Trump wants from the head of a social media company,” according to Gertz. “The Republican political operatives he hired to run Facebook’s policy wing have carved out exemptions from the site’s rules for Trump and his media allies. Trump is making clear that it is in the interests of other social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube to adopt that same corporate strategy — and he will continue to raise the temperature until they do.”

From Alternet

 

Covid-19 isn’t the only democide Trump has in store for us


Donald Trump is culpable in the preventable deaths of tens of thousands of Americans due to the evisceration of environmental protections. His deregulatory attack against the standards on mercury, soot and carbon dioxide alone will lead to 245,500 preventable deaths over a ten-year period—a calculation based on EPA staff estimates.
The Trump administration—not state governors, not Congress, and not past presidents—is directly responsible for these preventable deaths. These deaths are in addition to the preventable deaths of tens of thousands of other Americans due to Trump’s incompetent and disastrous  response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The Trump administration has initiated a broad offensive against regulatory protections. The Brookings Institute keeps an up-to-date compendium of Trump’s deregulatory efforts entitled “Tracking Deregulation in the Trump Era” including those involving the environment, COVID-19, labor, health, finance, housing, agriculture, education and more. The administration has initiated more than 230 deregulatory actions so far. The New York Times keeps another list focusing on environmental deregulation entitled “The Trump Administration Is Reversing One Hundred Environmental Rules.”

Looking at just four major attacks on environmental protections initiated by the Trump Administration. Three of the attacks have significantly weakened the standards for soot, mercury, and carbon dioxide. I chose these three because EPA staff has actually estimated the number of deaths that will occur due to the rollback of each of these protections. In addition, I will examine the administration’s unprecedented suspension of all environmental regulations/enforcement under cover of the COVID-19 pandemic. This suspension gives corporations control over major environmental decisions.
The administration’s deregulatory offensive reflects a value system that literally prioritizes corporate profits over American lives.

Here’s how Trump is going to do it:

Weakening Mercury & Air Toxics Standards: 110,000 Preventable Deaths over a Ten-Year Period

Mercury & Air Toxics Standards (MATS) save 11,000 lives a year

Corporate cronyism – EPA administrator is a former coal industry lobbyist. Devaluing lives, valuing profits.

Refusal to Strengthen Soot Standard: 121,500 Preventable Deaths over a Ten-Year Period

Replacement of Limits on CO2 Emissions: 14,000 Preventable Deaths Over a Ten-Year Period

Using the Pandemic as an Excuse for Wholesale Deregulation

unprecedented suspension of environmental monitory, testing, and penalties citing pandemic.

Key EPA staffing positions held by corporate officials, lobbyists, and lawyers.

Allowing corporations to dictate EPA policies.

 

from https://www.alternet.org/2020/05/trumps-gutting-of-environmental-rules-will-lead-to-hundreds-of-thousands-of-deaths/

Donald Trump the Macho “Machoman” or Spoiled Whiny Cry Baby

So many mysteries surround Donald Trump: the contents of his tax returns, the apparent miracle of his graduation from college. Some of them are merely curiosities; others are of national importance, such as whether he understood the nuclear-weapons briefing given to every leader. I prefer not to dwell on this question.

But since his first day as a Republican candidate, I have been baffled by one mystery in particular: Why do working-class white men—the most reliable component of Donald Trump’s base—support someone who is, by their own standards, the least masculine man ever to hold the modern presidency? The question is not whether Trump fails to meet some archaic or idealized version of masculinity. Trump’s inability to measure up to Marcus Aurelius or Omar Bradley is not the issue. Rather, the question is why so many of Trump’s working-class white male voters refuse to hold Trump to their own standards of masculinity—why they support a man who behaves more like a little boy.

I am a son of the working class, and I know these cultural standards. The men I grew up with think of themselves as pretty tough guys and most of them are. They are not the products of elite universities and cosmopolitan living. These are men whose fathers and grandfathers came from a culture that looks down upon lying, cheating, and bragging, especially about sex or courage. (My father’s best friend got the Silver Star for wiping out a German machine-gun nest in Europe, and I never heard a word about it until after the man’s funeral.) They admire and value the understated swagger, the rock-solid confidence, and the quiet reserve of such cultural heroes as John Wayne’s Green Beret Colonel Mike Kirby and Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo (also, as it turns out, a former Green Beret.)

They are, as an American Psychological Association feature describes them, men who adhere to norms such as “toughness, dominance, self-reliance, heterosexual behaviors, restriction of emotional expression and the avoidance of traditionally feminine attitudes and behaviors.” But I didn’t need an expert study to tell me this; they are men like my late father and his friends, who understood that a man’s word is his bond and that a handshake means something. They are men who still believe in a day’s work for a day’s wages. They feel that you should never thank another man when he hands you a paycheck that you earned. They shoulder most burdens in silence—perhaps to an unhealthy degree—and know that there is honor in making an honest living and raising a family.

Not every working-class male voted for Trump, and not all of them have these traits, of course. And I do not present these beliefs and attitudes as uniformly virtuous in themselves. Some of these traditional masculine virtues have a dark side: Toughness and dominance become bullying and abuse; self-reliance becomes isolation; silence becomes internalized rage. Rather, I am noting that courage, honesty, respect, an economy of words, a bit of modesty, and a willingness to take responsibility are all virtues prized by the self-identified class of hard-working men, the stand-up guys, among whom I was raised.

And yet, many of these same men expect none of those characteristics from Trump, who is a vain, cowardly, lying, vulgar, jabbering blowhard. Put another way, as a question I have asked many of the men I know: Is Trump a man your father and grandfather would have respected?

I should point out here that I am not criticizing Trump’s manifest lack of masculinity solely because he offends my personal sense of maleness. He does, of course. But then again, a lot about the Trump offends me, as a man, as a Christian, and as an American. Nor do I make these observations as a role model of male virtue. I was, in every way, an immature cad as a younger man. In late middle age, I still struggle with the eternal issues of manhood, including what it means to be a good father and husband—especially the second time around after failing at marriage once already.

And truth be told, I am not particularly “manly.” I wear Italian shoes with little buckles. I schedule my haircuts on Boston’s Newbury Street weeks in advance. My shower is full of soaps and shampoos claiming scents like “tobacco and caramel,” and my shaving cream has bergamot in it, whatever that is. And I talk too much.

I freely accept that I do not pass muster by the standards of most Trump supporters. Again, what intrigues me is that neither should Trump. As the writer Windsor Mann has noted, Trump behaves in ways that many working-class men would ridicule: “He wears bronzer, loves gold and gossip, is obsessed with his physical appearance, whines constantly, can’t control his emotions, watches daytime television, enjoys parades and interior decorating, and used to sell perfume.”

I am not a psychologist, and I cannot adjudicate the theories of male behavior that might explain some of this. Others have tried. Two researchers who looked back at the 2016 election suggested that support for Trump was higher in areas where there were more internet searches for topics such as “erectile dysfunction,” “how to get girls,” and “penis enlargement” than in pro-Hillary areas of the country. (One can only hope that correlation is not causation.) The idea that insecure men support bullies and authoritarians is hardly new; recall that one of George Orwell’s characters in 1984 dismissed all the “marching up and down and cheering and waving flags” as “simply sex gone sour.” To reduce all of this to sexual inadequacy, however, is too facile. It cannot explain why millions of men look the other way when Trump acts in ways they would typically find shameful. Nor is arguing that Trump is a bad person and therefore that the people who support him are either brainwashed or also bad people helpful. He is, and some of them are. But that doesn’t explain why men who would normally ostracize someone like Trump continue to embrace him.

In order to think about why these men, support Trump, one must first to grasp how deeply they are betraying their own definition of masculinity by looking more closely at the flaws they should, in principle, find revolting.

Is Trump honorable? This is a man who routinely refused to pay working people their due wages, and then lawyered them into the ground when they objected to being exploited. Trump is a rich downtown bully; the sort most working men usually hate.

General George Patton

Is Trump courageous? Courtiers like Victor Davis Hanson have compared Trump to the great heroes of the past, including George Patton, Ajax, and the Western gunslingers of the American cinema. Trump himself has mused about how he would have been a good general. He even fantasized about how he would have charged into the middle of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, without a weapon. “You don’t know until you test it,” he said at a meeting with state governors just a couple of weeks after the massacre, “but I really believe I’d run in there, even if I didn’t have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that too.” Truly brave people never tell you how brave they are. I have known many combat veterans, and none of them extols his or her own courage. What saved them, they will tell you, was their training and their teamwork. Some—perhaps the bravest—lament that they were not able to do more for their comrades.

But even if we excuse Trump for the occasional hyperbole, the fact of the matter is that Trump is an obvious coward. He has two particular phobias: powerful men and intelligent women.

Whenever he is in the company of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to take the most cringe-inducing example, he visibly cowers. His attempts to ingratiate himself with Putin are embarrassing, especially given how effortlessly Putin can bend Trump to his will. When the Russian leader got Trump alone at a summit in Helsinki, he scared him so badly that at the subsequent joint press conference, Putin smiled pleasantly while the leader of the United States publicly took the word of a former KGB officer over his own intelligence agencies.

Likewise, as Trump has shown repeatedly in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, he is eager to criticize China, until he is asked about Chinese President Xi Jinping. In the course of the same few minutes, Trump will attack China—his preferred method for escaping responsibility for America’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic—and then he will babble about how much he likes President Xi, desperately seeking to avoid giving offense to the Chinese Communist Party boss.

This is related to one of Trump’s most noticeable problems, which is that he can never stop talking. The old-school standard of masculinity is the strong and silent type, like Gary Cooper back in the day or Tom Hardy today. Trump, by comparison, is neither strong nor capable of silence.

And when Trump talks too much, he ends up saying things that more stereotypically masculine men wouldn’t, like that he fell in love with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. “He wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters,” Trump told a rally in West Virginia. “We fell in love.” One can only imagine the reaction among working-class white men if Barack Obama, or any other U.S. leader, had talked about falling in love with a foreign leader. (George W. Bush once said he saw into Putin’s soul, and he has never lived it down among his critics.)

Is Trump a man who respects women? This is what secure and masculine men would expect, especially from a husband and a father of two daughters.

Leave aside for the moment that the working-class white men in “the Donald’s” base don’t seem to care that Trump had an affair with a porn star while his wife was home with a new baby, something for which many of them would probably beat their own brother-in-law senseless if he did it to their sister. Trump’s voters, male and female, have already decided to excuse this and other sordid episodes.

Women clearly scare Trump. You don’t have to take my word for it. “Donald doesn’t like strong women,” Senator Ted Cruz said back in 2016 of the candidate who attacked Cruz’s wife as ugly, but who is now his hero. “Strong women scare Donald. Real men don’t try to bully women.”

Trump never seems more fearful and insecure than when women question him. His anxiety at such moments—for example, when he calls on female reporters in the White House press room—is palpable. He begins his usual flurry of defensive hand gestures, from the playing of an imaginary accordion to a hand held up with a curled pinky finger like some parody of a Queens mobster, while he stammers out verbal chaff bursts of “excuse me” and “are you ready?”

Does Trump accept responsibility and look out for his team? Not in the least. In this category, he exhibits one of the most unmanly of behaviors: He’s a blamer. Nothing is ever his fault. In the midst of disaster, he praises himself while turning on even his most loyal supporters without a moment’s hesitation. Men across America who were socialized by team sports, whose lives are predicated on the principle of showing up and doing the job, continually excuse a man who continually excuses himself. This presidency is defined not by Ed Harris’s grim intonation in Apollo 13 that “failure is not an option,” but by one of the most shameful utterances of a chief executive in modern American history: “I take no responsibility at all.”

Trump’s defenders could argue that he is just another male celebrity whose raw authenticity offends snooty elitists but appeals to the average Joe. The analogy here is someone like Howard Stern, who has known Trump for years and has been idolized by young men across America. Stern cavorted with porn stars, said shocking and racist things, and was, in his way, the living id of every maladjusted teenager.

Whatever you think of Stern, however, he’s much more of a man, by any definition, than Trump. For one thing, Stern is often self-effacing in the extreme, which is both part of his act and a source of the charm he possesses. Stern routinely jokes about the inadequacy of his male endowment. Trump, however, went to pains to reassure the country—in the middle of a presidential primary debate—that his equipment has “no problem.” Stern knows how to take his lumps in public, while Trump is a wailing siren of complaints.

More important, Stern is capable of introspection and has a certain amount of self-awareness, a quality important for any mature and healthy person. Stern, who once encouraged Trump’s antics, now seems concerned. He has suggested that Trump was traumatized by his childhood and his father. “He has trouble with empathy,” Stern told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “We know that. And I wish he’d go into psychotherapy. I’d be so proud of him if he did, and he would flourish.” (Stern endorsed Joe Biden in April.)

Trump is never going to get therapy. But Stern’s observation opens the door to a better explanation of why—despite all of his whiny complaints, his pouty demeanor, and his mean-girl tweets—Trump’s working-class voters forgive him.

Trump’s lack of masculinity is about maturity. He is not “manly” because he is not a man. He is a boy.

To be a man is to be an adult, to willingly decide, as St. Paul wrote, to “put away childish things.” There’s a reason that Peter Pan is a story about a boy, and the syndrome named after it is about men. Not everyone grows up as they age.

It should not be a surprise then, that Trump is a hero to a culture in which so many men are already trapped in perpetual adolescence. And especially for men who feel like life might have passed them by, whose fondest memories are rooted somewhere in their own personal Wonder Years from elementary school until high-school graduation, Trump is a walking permission slip to shrug off the responsibilities of manhood.

The appeal to indulge in such hypocrisy must be enormous. Cheat on your wife? No problem. You can trade her in for a hot foreign model 20 years younger. Is being a father to your children too onerous a burden on your schedule? Let the mothers raise them. Money troubles? Everyone has them; just tell your father to write you another check. Upset that your town or your workplace has become more diverse? Get it off your chest: Rail about women and Mexicans and African Americans at will and dare anyone to contradict you.

Trump’s media enablers do their best to shore up the fiction that Trump and the men who follow him are the most macho of men. The former White House aide Sebastian Gorka, one of Trump’s most dedicated sycophants, has described Trump as a “man’s man,” despite the fact that Trump has no hobbies or interests common to many American men other than sex. In this gang of Sweathogs, Gorka is the Arnold Horshack to Trump’s Vinnie Barbarino, always admiring him as the most alpha of the alphas. To listen to Gorka and others in Trumpworld, Donald can turn his enemies to ash through sheer testosterone overload. Some Trump voters have even airbrushed the his face onto the bodies of both Rambo and Rocky Balboa. (Donald himself approvingly retweeted the Trump-as-Rocky meme.)

Gorka tries to cosplay the same role himself. The photographs of him carrying guns, wearing a suede vest, and posing next to his underpowered suburban Mustang are now internet legends, precisely because they are so ridiculous. But he is a good example of how so many of the men who support Trump have morphed into childish caricatures of themselves. They, too, are little boys, playing at being tough but crying about their victimization at the hands of liberal elites if they are subjected to criticism of any kind.

I do not know how much of this can explain Trump’s base of support among working-class white women. (Those numbers are now declining.) But perhaps these women, too, regard Trump as just one more difficult and mischievous man-child in their lives to be accommodated and forgiven.

The best example of women giving him a pass was after the Access Hollywood tape came to light in the fall of 2016. Trump had been caught on audio bragging about being able to grope women because he was famous. Republican leaders panicked; surely this level of vulgarity, they reasoned, would kill Trump’s chances with female voters.

Instead, women showed up at rallies with shirts featuring arrows pointing right to where Trump could grab them.

Melania Trump, for her part, dutifully defended the boyishness of it all. “Sometimes I say I have two boys at home,” she said at the time. “I have my young son and I have my husband. But I know how some men talk, and that’s how I saw it.” Female Trump supporters were interviewed on national television and—in a tragic admission about the state of American families—seemed confused about why Trump would be considered any worse than the men around them.

I recall one woman telling a reporter that her son talked that way in front of her all the time. Part of how I was socialized into adult manhood was knowing that if I spoke like that in front of my late mother—an Irish American woman from an impoverished background—she would have made my ears ring with the slap she’d have given me.

In the end, Trump will continue to act like a little boy, and his base, the voters who will stay with him to the end, will excuse him. When a grown man brags about being brave, it is unmanly and distasteful; when a little boy pulls out a cardboard sword and ties a towel around his neck like a cape, it’s endearing. When a rich and powerful old man whines about how unfairly he is being treated, we scowl and judge; when a little boy snuffles in his tears and says that he was bullied—treated worse than Abraham Lincoln, even—we comfort.

Donald Trump is unmanly because he has never chosen to become a man. He has weathered few trials that create an adult of any kind. He is, instead, working-class America’s dysfunctional son, and his supporters, male and female alike, have become the worried parent explaining what a good boy he is to terrorized teachers even while he continues to set fires in the hallway right outside.

I think that working men, the kind raised as I was, know what kind of “man” Trump is. And still, the gratification they get from seeing Trump enrage the rest of the country is enough to earn their indulgence. I doubt, however, that Trump gives them the same consideration. Perhaps Howard Stern, of all people, said it best: “The oddity in all of this is the people Trump despises most, love him the most. The people who are voting for Trump for the most part … He’d be disgusted by them.” The tragedy is that they are not disgusted by him in return.

 

Edited from a TOM NICHOLS article in the Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/donald-trump-the-most-unmanly-president/612031/

Conservative Thomas M. Nichols is an academic specialist on international affairs, currently a professor at the U.S. Naval War College and at the Harvard Extension School. His work deals with issues involving Russia, nuclear weapons, and national security affairs. TOM NICHOLS is the author of The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against

 

A vast army of bots are pushing you to shop, play, work and die

Russia’s 2016 campaign in support of Donald Trump included many different means of inserting false information into the national conversation. It featured ads on radio stations in key cities intended to suppress Black support for Hillary Clinton, faux local news sites filled with fabricated stories supporting Trump, and fake Black Lives Matters sites on Facebook meant to increase the fear of rural white voters. There were targeted ads that leveraged online tools to plant false stories directly into critical districts, and direct intrusion into voter databases that did … who knows what. But one key component of the 2016 campaign was a vast army of ‘bot’ accounts, managed by a team of Russian military hackers. That effort filled Twitter, Facebook, and other sites—and in the process became some of the most influential accounts in social media.

Now it’s happened again! A new study shows that when it comes to forcing workers to go back into offices, stores, and factories, almost half the online voices shouting for the “reopening of America” were, and are bot accounts. Of the accounts that have tweeted most on this topic, more than half are bots. Of the most influential, almost all are bots. And behind the bots … is someone still unknown.

The report comes out of Carnegie Mellon University. Digging through over 200 million tweets discussing COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus, researchers focused in on the most influential accounts—those most active, most retweeted, and most liked. Out of the top 1,000 accounts, 62% are bots. Perhaps even more amazing: of the 50 most influential accounts on this topic, 82% are bots.

The bots may be numerous, but their message isn’t varied. They’re not being used to pass along accurate news about COVID-19, to encourage social distancing, or to support state government calls for preventive measures. In addition to pushing false cures, like Trump’s much-pushed hydroxychloroquine, and spreading general false information about the dangers of COVID-19, there’s one point where bots are driving the whole of social media. According to the report, they are “dominating conversations about ending stay-at-home orders and ‘reopening America.’”

Other disasters have also brought along swarms of bot accounts trying to take advantage of the chaos to drive either profit or political division, but CMU reports that the pandemic has generated far more fake accounts than expected. Those bots aren’t just participating in the online discussion about reopening America, they are driving it.

These same bots are also pushing stories that deaths due to COVID-19 are being overcounted, that medical workers and hospitals are exaggerating the scale of the pandemic, that hospital rooms are filled with crisis actors or even mannequins to make the situation seem far worse than it is. The bots are both originating and repeating more than 100 different categories of false stories about COVID-19, the pandemic, and the steps needed to fight the disease. These conspiracy theories are designed to both increase anger and generate distrust of medical authorities. They’ve also played a role in driving in-person protests in cities across the country.

Does this look familiar?

A social media campaign that dominates a national conversation, introduces divisive themes and helps to orchestrate small physical protests.

Out-sized media coverage and intense social media amplification that makes those protests seem both far more significant and legitimate.

A network of lies and conspiracy theories that opens divisions in the nation, plays on existing fears, and generates distrust of knowledgeable sources.

If any of that seems like a repeat, it’s because that was exactly Russia’s 2016 playbook. And that’s not a great surprise. Because this isn’t some random group of bots cobbled together by hackers just for kicks. The scale of this effort is huge, the messages are coordinated, and the impact has already been felt nationwide. According to CMU professor Kathleen Carley, “…it looks like it’s a propaganda machine, and it definitely matches the Russian and Chinese playbooks.”

The first reopen protests were in Michigan, where they were funded and pushed through an online effort of the Michigan Freedom Fund. The MFF is funded by the family of Betsy DeVos. The tools and propaganda developed by the MFF for that first protest were used as a template for other protests in other states. These protests have also leveraged pro-gun groups that descended on state capitols in the past—which is why the same protesters have appeared to threaten officials in multiple states.

The coordinated effort behind reopening America has been eagerly supported by a network of conservative organizations who definitely learned a lesson from 2016. What they learned is that America is hugely vulnerable to a coordinated propaganda campaign, that a small number of gun-waving protesters can be made to seem like a mass movement, and that they can get their way even if a majority of Americans disagree.

It’s clear they got tired of asking Americans to sacrifice themselves for Wall Street. So they just took away the options.

2016 demonstrated America’s vulnerability to this kind of attack. 2020 shows that the nation is no more secure … but the attackers have improved.

Edited from a story on Alternet

Social distance yourself and wear your fucking mask in public!

Dumb asses are making a bad situation even worse

Idiots not wearing masks and demanding “business as usual”, are basically assaulting us all and threatening our health and well being. Maybe in normal times, you could forgive their ignorance but now, no way!
Like you take your child into the Open Door Clinic in Mckinnleyville for an immunization shot and everyone’s wearing a mask except one “MAGA” office worker who’s walking all around the clinic without and mask interacting with patients and staff.
That’s assault as far we’re concerned.

This type of belligerent dumbassery is all over Humboldt.

A local Humboldt woman was photographed holding a sign suggesting that animals and black people should be “muzzled.” The photo has gone nationwide in the media and viral on the internet thanks in part to the Russian bot propaganda machine.

Our own local dumb ass trumpie demonstrators swarmed the Humboldt County Courthouse on May 16 to protest the state’s COVID-19 policies. Local Trump dupe Gretha Stenger was among them, a picture of her at the event caused a stir online.  She held an overtly racist sign that read “Muzzles are for dogs and slaves. I am a free human being,” the sign has a photo of an African woman enslaved in Brazil in the 1800s named Escrava Anastacia, who is considered to be a saint to many in South America. Her excuse was she came out to stand with people who were upset about the stay-at-home orders and their repercussions. We guess like stopping the spread of covid 19.

Another local dupe, who said her name was Larkin Small, held another sign reading: “COVID-19 has a 99 percent survival rate. Why are we locked up?”  She whined claiming the virus actually has a high survival rate, when the fatality actually rate ranges from 3 to 5 percent. Which is consider high.

After being excoriated online Stenger apologized, saying that someone else made the sign and handed it to her.

“Holding that sign up at the lockdown protest was a grave mistake and I ask forgiveness from all those who I have caused pain. As I had no sign of my own, it was handed to me by another protester and a photographer took the picture before I considered the racist implications,” Stenger told The Times-Standard. “My intent was to take a stand for the freedom of all human persons and I mistakenly held a sign that conveyed the opposite. (oops!) Please know that I respect the dignity of all people and I sincerely regret any suffering it has caused.”

Larkin Small hasn’t issued any apology yet.


Online, of course, no one is very forgiving nor should they be, for example:
“Everyone needs to know who Gretha Stenger and Larkin Small are. They’re the racist bitches who think muzzling slaves is okay! No human being should ever be enslaved let alone MUZZLED!! I wouldn’t even dare muzzle my dog!”  #COVIDIDIOTS  #ThisIsAmerica

 

From Raw story with original reporting and photos from RHBB and Times-Standard

 

What you don’t know will get you sick or even dead, thanks Donnie

As of 05-17-20 reported cases in USA 1,523,703 reported Deaths 90,893 and Trump has been very concerned with the actual numbers attached to coronavirus cases and has made clear he wanted to keep the numbers low to help his re-election campaign. We all know that the truth is that Deaths are under-reported and cases are way under-reported because the evil Trump has kept us from testing.

Trump has said, “we don’t want everybody taking this test,” referring to coronavirus testing. “It’s totally unnecessary. This will pass through and we’re going to be even stronger for it.” Last Thursday Trump said testing for coronavirus is “overrated,” and complained that the more tests are conducted, the more cases there are. “When you test, you have a case,”  “When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”

So with that in mind, the despicable Trump administration has ordered an “innovative” and “first of its kind” at home coronavirus testing program, that has the support of public health experts, to cease.

The program is based in Seattle, Washington, and allowed residents to easily test for coronavirus. One of the program’s benefits is 43 percent of its more than 12,000 participants so far were asymptomatic. To date, the program has identified many previously-undetected COVID-19 cases.

The Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN), operated by researchers from the Seattle Flu Study and Public Health – Seattle & King County, and had an “in-person technical adviser” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was authorized by the State of Washington.

The FDA ordered SCAN to:“……discontinue patient testing and return of diagnostic results to patients until proper authorization is obtained,”  saying it had “concerns about safety and accuracy.”

SCAN’s researchers say they had, “submitted data validating both the safety and reliability of the swabs in the home-based collection.”

One researcher not affiliated with the program called halting it “bizarre.” We call it typical blatant Trump-style suppression of the truth.