Category: Taking out the Trash

“Fake news,” Cernovich, and how the Trumpist right denies reality

Alt-right blogger Mike Cernovich was featured on 60 Minutes for a segment on how bullshit and fake news spreads around the public discourse.

CBS’s Scott Pelley cited one story Cernovich published himself at his website Danger & Play titled, “Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s Disease, Physician Confirms.” The only source of information cited was Ted Noel, an anesthesiologist who later recorded a video. That means diagnosis of Parkinson’s is not even his area of expertise in the first place–and he didn’t examine Clinton, either.

If people could be diagnosed from news reports and videos, then Donald Trump and Barry Goldwater would be clinically-diagnosed narcissists.

Cernovich stood by his story, though he offered no evidence beyond his own hate of Clinton.

I don’t take anything Hillary Clinton is going to say at all as true. I’m not going to take her on her word. The media says we’re not going to take Donald Trump on his word. And that’s why we are in these different universes.

Yet, even if one were to distrust Clinton, distrusting her can’t prove she has Parkinson’s.

But let us move to a bigger point: Cernovich tried to equate his own website with actual news outlets that employ people to look into issues, ask questions, investigate, and confirm news before they report it. He equated himself with CNN and the Washington Post.

The truth is you’ve talked to a person who sincerely believes true, you must also admit that there have been many stories reported by major outlets like The New York Times, the Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, that were false. … People get it wrong, so why then come guns blazing at me, and not guns blazing at everybody?Why isn’t this segment going to say, how did the New York Times get conned? How did the Washington Post believe that Russia had hacked the power grid?

The story he’s talking about with regard to the power grid is one the Post published on December 31, 2016 about how Russians may have hacked a computer at an electric utility.

A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials.

The original article overstated what happened, and the Post corrected it and added an editor’s note:

An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid.

AOL:

So did the Russians attack a laptop at a public utility, even if it wasn’t connected to the electric grid?

It’s possible, but not certain.

The malware found was certainly Russian made and related to the malware used to infiltrate the DNC. But that does not mean that it was used by Russians.

So the Washington Post reported a story based on information from credible sources and then corrected the part that was wrong within 24 hours of its publication.

Has Cernovich retracted or offered any kind of additional note to his blog post from August 12, 2016? No, it’s 227 days later, and he still says he believes it.

Free Speech: No, CPAC disinviting Milo Yiannopoulos is not an attack on free speech

Milo Yiannopoulos’s brief history as an invited speaker to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) lasted less than a week. Given that Yiannopoulos is who he is, an attention seeker and an expert at victimization politics, he is sure to try to turn this into a discussion about free speech.

But make no mistake: This is no war on free speech, and it is nothing like the violence at Berkeley, which caused his speech to be shut down, or other attempts by anti-free speech radicals to silence invited speakers through intimidation or disruption.

CPAC, given that they are putting on the event, makes the decision over who it invites, and CPAC attendees decide whether to purchase a ticket or not. Even before videos of Yiannopoulos praising the potential of relationships between older men and minor children went viral, many conservatives were disappointed with the decision to invite Yiannopoulos, which was reportedly not made with the full approval of the CPAC board. CPAC, after all, is a “conservative” event, and Yiannopoulos offers no deep insight into conservative thought–or much of anything besides showmanship.

Free speech does not imply inviting anyone and everyone to give a speech. After all, CPAC had not extended invitations to Black Lives Matter activists, Lena Dunham, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, DeRay Mckesson, Shaun King, Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian, or any other identity politics-supporting left-wingers.

They don’t have to extend invitations to anyone and everyone. CPAC, like the College Republicans, is a private group with its own viewpoints and agenda. In the past, CPAC has barred conservative-affiliated groups from being cosponsors for ideological disagreements (GOProud for its support of gay rights) and because of their radicalism (the John Birch Society). Those decisions can be debated, but it’s well within CPAC’s right to make them.

That many of their attendees and sponsors didn’t want to hear Yiannopoulos speak anymore than they wanted to hear DeAndre “Soulja Boy” Cortez Way speak doesn’t make them opponents of free speech–just people with values. In the end, the market place of ideas (and of money–CPAC sells tickets) determined Yiannopoulos’s fate.

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Trump’s trend of bigotry can’t be easily excused

Donald Trump on July 2 tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton in front of a pile of money with the quote “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” inside the outline of a Star of David. As usual with acts of bigotry from Trump, Trump’s defenders are out in full force to defend him.

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“That’s not a Star of David, it’s just “a star”,” Mary Ann Arlotta wrote on Facebook.

“I’m fairly certain that same shape is on Microsoft PowerPoint,” Rhea Paseur wrote.

Mark Ross wrote, “Some call it the satanic star while others call it the Star of David.” (The pentagram, aka “the satanic star,” has five sides, but anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists do consider the Star of David to be a “Satanic Hexagram.”)

This is becoming a familiar pattern in the Trump campaign: Trump does something bigoted and/or incredibly stupid. Trump fans, whom Trump joked would support him if he killed someone on 5th Avenue, display their gymnastics abilities by defending him.

As Facebook user Kevin Wos wrote, in an explanation that anyone with the faintest understanding of history doesn’t need to read, “Oh yeah, because a Star of David combined with images of money and talk of corruption couldn’t possibly be a dog whistle for the far right. Nope, not anti-Semitic at all!”

The issue, furthermore, comes down to reputation and track record. People are granted a number of mistakes. Trump deleted this tweet afterwards and reuploaded the same image with a circle in the place of the Star of David, so one might be charitable if it was the first time he said or did something bigoted against a minority ethnic group.

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Trump-sympathetic conservatives suddenly offended that Hillary attacked Trump

Is Hillary Clinton bringing down the tone of the campaign to Trump-like levels?

That’s the concern—the “bullshit”, I add, since this is 2016—concern raised by John Sexton of HotAir.com. After Twitter Trump attacked Clinton for receiving President Obama’s endorsement, Clinton’s account tweeted, “Delete your account,” at Trump. A funny and non-threatening dis to a man who has proven time and time again that the world would be a better place if he didn’t tweet?

No, to John Sexton, Clinton’s tweet was a “3 word put-down could have come from Trump himself,” and that “Clinton has sunk to his level.” (Incidentally, he’s probably wrong about that; Trump’s tweets and speeches are long-winded and self-referential.)

Sexton looks to the future and bemoans what he sees as a biased liberal media that will excuse Clinton’s terribly offensive response to Trump while blaming Trump for having lowered the discourse to a level that includes references to “losers,” “bimbos,” and allegations of murder against his opponent:

What this campaign is really going to be is months of back and forth insults with each side taking shots at the other. And yet, Trump will consistently be blamed for bringing down the tone of the campaign even as Clinton is praised for toughness. As in every election, the Republican has to fight a two front war, one against the other candidate and one against the media.

Oh, boo hoo if Tantrum Trump has to take responsibility for his tirades! He called an American judge “Mexican” and said a “Mexican” judges shouldn’t be allowed to preside over his case, and now he’s being called racist! Why isn’t Judge Curiel, or Hillary, getting blamed for Trump’s comments?! #LiberalBias

I recon

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The lying, impotent rage of Sanders supporters as they flail to their conclusion

By now Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is a desperate cry for help. Losing by a logistically insurmountable margin even before the final six states—California and its 475 pledged delegates amount them—vote on June 7, Sanders has gone so far as to challenge Donald Trump to a debate. (Trump, after pledging to do the debate, backed out when a Silicon Valley company offered to raise $10 million for the debate.)

Left with the growing knowledge that they won’t—and can’t—win the nomination, Sanders fans are lashing out in anger against the process, the Democratic Party, and the voters.

The Daily Beast’s columnist Keli Goff, who supports Clinton, wrote on May 26 about the vicious attacks she and other blacks backing Clinton have endured for backing Clinton. As she wrote in February, “[N]ot caring about which candidate is actually electable might be one of the greatest forms of privilege there is.”

For Sanders supporters, Sanders isn’t losing because voters like Goff rationally chose the more qualified, more electable candidate who could actually have a chance to get her agenda implemented as president. No, those who admit Sanders is losing the votes say, Clinton voters are stupid and need to get “educated,” but another vast coalition of Sanders voters don’t even accept the reality that Sanders is losing.

You might call them postmodern or “metamodern.” Those are the words “experimental journalist” Seth Abramson of the Huffington Post used two dozen times justifying his inaccurate reporting on the Sanders campaign. It’s the kind of commentary that writes, “Make No Mistake, Sandersism Has Defeated Clintonism” when Clinton is leading by 3 million votes.

Now he has summed up his style in a post charmingly titled “On Bernie Sanders and Experimental Journalism.” His style can best be summarized as making shit up. After you get through five turgid paragraphs about “experimental journalism,” “postermodernism,” and “metamodernism,” you get to where Abramson tries to connect it to the 2016 election.

Journalism is based on “master narratives,” he asserts, and master narratives necessarily influence the outcomes of what journalists report on. Two narratives emerged for the two primaries: 1.) that Jeb Bush would win the GOP nomination, and 2.) that Hillary would win the Democratic nod. Well, we all know how those narratives turned out.

Of course the fact that “narratives” existed is, to a Sandersnista, clearly an example of media bias. It couldn’t be because of the objective facts that Bush had $100 million behind him, a powerful family, and was, in the spring, leading in the polls. No, because there is no place for objective reality in this new postmodern world of Trump and Sanders. As Abramson wrote, “[T]his is the first metamodern political campaign, and not only have all the old rules of politics gone out the window, so too have all the old modes of thinking about the Real.”

Clearly if one looks at Sanders’ agenda, that would appear to be the case, and not in a good way…

Abramson admitted in his own words he covered the election with an intentional bias to skew the results:

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Bernie Sanders’ delusional plan to “steal” the nomination from Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders is delusional.

The socialist senator from Vermont who has long admired the Nicaraguan Sandinistas now thinks he can win the Democratic nomination at a contested convention.

After losing to Hillary Clinton in 25 of the first 43 primary contests, Sanders announced he was planning on contesting the nomination all the way to the Democratic National Convention. Sanders thought that by the end of April he had a wave of momentum, even though, at that time, Clinton had just won 4-out-of-5 of the contest held on April 26. Sanders had won 7-out-of-8 contests between May 22 and April 9. Now Sanders thinks he’s back on track after winning Indiana by just 5 percentage points (and 5 pledged delegates).

Sanders at a contested convention? The numbers tell a different story. Clinton leads in pledged delegates by 290 and in total votes by 3.2 million. Clinton is leading 56.2% to 42.3% in votes received. If you want to talk about “stealing” a nomination from the will of the people, that would be what Sanders would need the Democratic Party to do for him to win.

Pledged delegate count as of May 4, via Wikimedia, created by Wikipedia user Abjiklam.

Pledged delegate count as of May 4, via Wikimedia, created by Wikipedia user Abjiklam.

With no mathematical basis to claim victory, Sanders has been reduced to grousing about unfairness.

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Money doesn’t grow on trees: What Bernie Kids don’t understand

So, this came out.

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Highly opinionated and ideological with zero economics knowledge, laced with perceived victimhood, privileged, wasting thousands of dollars on subjects with minimal job prospect, and expecting a bailout from the taxpayers. This is what welfare queens look like these days.

Now, here’s something deeply troubling with this tweet. And that goes into the heart of the problem we are facing today, not just in US but across the World.

First of all, who in their right mind borrows $226,000 dollars to study Speech Pathology, and then expect a bailout from taxpayers? I never borrowed ten dollars to study something, which doesn’t have job prospect, just because I am bleeding in my heart to help people, unless I am smart enough to get a scholarship.

(Thankfully I always had, not because I am the smartest man in this planet, but in this volatile and fluid era, with chances of conflict between great powers increasing, which might result in massive death unless a grand strategy pattern is predicted, my research is in a field which analyses the aforementioned foreign policy patterns of great powers. Demand, meet supply.)

Look, it is simple economics, and here’s how it works. 

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