Re: The Fox Effect

1

My barber* sometimes has Fox News on, and even though it's just the afternoon - which I'm pretty sure is the highest "news"/bullshit ratio of any part of their broadcast day - it's breathtaking just how relentlessly dishonest and propagandistic it is.

Even so, I found Drum's chart showing the perpetually ratcheting-upward hatred of consistent conservatives for liberals to be the most telling piece of evidence. It's more or less independent of any exterior stimuli - Bush wins a war, hate liberals more; Bush is an embarrassing loser, hate liberals more; Obama is The One, hate liberals more; Obama gets shellacked, hate liberals more; etc. The one constant is Fox injecting hatred into the discourse.

I'd add that, as in any craft, they're only getting better at it. I mean, at some point they might jump the shark in some way (if only because their target audience is relentlessly aging; did you see that O'Reilly's median audience member is 72?), but for now, I think it's safe to say that their product has been growing more potent and effective (remember when they wasted time with Colmes? Remember how much of their schtick was finding Fox Democrats? The latter hardly even exist anymore - they don't need actual people to fill the straw man costumes).

*nice, older Italian guy who, aside from some generational/cultural prejudices, seems to be way, way to the left of their audience


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 2:56 PM
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My dad belongs to a country club in north Jersey (near Morristown), where he's A. younger (at 72) than most members, and B. far, far more liberal. And he's always describing these old guys, all of them loaded (C. would be that he has less money than these guys), and all of them believing every little piece of Fox bullshit - birtherism, HRC is a lesbian, etc.

Pierce describes it as a prion disease, destroying the brains of the right, and I don't think he's wrong. It's a mistake to imagine that conservatives* used to be better/kinder people, but I do think it's true that they didn't used to be quite this insane. I mean, hell, it was only 10 years ago that you'd have been hard pressed to find a non-Evangelical type who'd claim that evolution is a lie from Hell; now it's harder to find a Republican in good standing who won't.

*Republicans used to be, on average, better/kinder, but that's because a lot of Republicans were fairly liberal. Those people are now the Rahms and Andrew Cuomos of the world, pissing us off from within the Dem Party, but miles better than anyone on the other side


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:02 PM
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This is why Obama's achievement in fending off Austerity USA! Troika Goes to Las Vegas has been so impressive.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:09 PM
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The world looks a lot harsher for middle-class Americans than it did under Eisenhower.

It's natural to seek someone to blame, preferably with a simple rather than complex reason. I'm sad that doing this has worked so well for Murdoch.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:15 PM
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2: My uncle's had a very similar experience. He used to be moderate, but the post-Reagan era has pushed him left. In contrast, literally everyone he knows his age (other than my aunt) is a Fox-news-listening loony. The only liberals he knows are his family.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:18 PM
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I'm not sure it's possible for me to underestimate the toxicity of Fox News, given that I get almost all my sense of the cultural milieu of the US these days from places like the Daily Show, liberal blogs, or the things they're lampooning/outraging on, namely Fox and the Fox-adjacent (NRO, Rollcall, WND etc). And if you take those sources at face vvalue Fox basically mind controls the 28% and heavily influences another 20%. For instance, during the ACA legislative debate, I genuinely couldn't tell if America was about to erupt into political violence, as the reporting of the various townhall incidents suggested, or if it was all being overblown by both sides for their own ends.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:26 PM
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My uncle's had a very similar experience

This is what the TPM posts catalog as well.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:27 PM
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In 2008, the boyfriend got to listen to my relatives complaining about how all the Dem nominees weren't nearly liberal enough. He'd never heard an opinion like that from a group of senior citizens, certainly not within his family. I keep expecting the Fox News viewership to die off, but I think there's a definite pipeline of new retiree Baby Boomers to keep their numbers up for quite a while.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:37 PM
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I have the same problem as 6, and I live here. Roughly 70% of "liberal" commentary seems to be making fun of Fox News morons whom all the liberal commentators seem to assume are the most important people in the world, but I honestly don't have a great sense of how influential the Fox News morons are in creating people who vote like morons vs the "natural" moronitude of the Republican base.

Anyhow it's totally true that polarization has increased tremendously, "moderates" are harder to find and Republicans have moved further to the right than Democrats have to the left (though that has happened too) but I'd be more inclined to attribute that to movement conservatives who identify as a "movement" with a specific ideology completely taking over the entire political apparatus of the Republican party than to Fox News specifically, which I think serves its viewers' instincts more than it creates them.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:40 PM
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Especially since we have the mass of the Boomers beginning to retire, mostly with tattered savings and looted pension plans. lw's 4 could go a long depressing way.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:40 PM
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(10 responding to 8, but it's all one big depressing miasma.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:41 PM
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I have total overnegation paralysis at the moment. Even after having read a dozen LL posts on the topic, I'm still not sure if I mean overestimate or underestimate.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:42 PM
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For instance, during the ACA legislative debate, I genuinely couldn't tell if America was about to erupt into political violence, as the reporting of the various townhall incidents suggested, or if it was all being overblown by both sides for their own ends.

That has very little chance of happening, because the only organized and violent anti-government people are on the right wing, and law enforcement is very deferential to them so any situation would develop very slowly.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:47 PM
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8: Oh, no doubt. One thing to remember is that Boomers were, by definition, born before the Civil Rights Act of '64, meaning that they all grew up in another racial era. And a lot of them are all too happy to return there. Now I don't recall where I read it - maybe it was floated in one of the TPM pieces, maybe not - but one of the things that Fox has mainstreamed is the sense that it's OK to say these things that were socially unacceptable for a long time.

That is, all but the oldest Boomers were college age or younger when non-code words became unacceptable - even if you said it among your buddies, if you were born in the '50s, you mostly were never an adult in a world where you could, e.g., casually drop the n word at work. But you still grew up in the era when it was OK.

And now, Fox (and talk radio) have basically said, "OK, you still can't use the n word, but you can complain about the fact that you can't, and it's also OK to use not even subtle code words." Come to think of it, they're trying to run the Atwater machine backwards, to the point where, at least in deep red districts, you pretty much can win elections by saying, "nigger nigger nigger".

All that said, I think that the lump in the snake is going to pass through; I simply don't think there are enough Gen Xers and Millennials who are susceptible to that appeal for it to work. They may succeed in changing the appeal - to what, I don't know - but I think the current messaging doesn't work on (hardly) anyone* younger than 50 or so.

*anyone who isn't already bought in, I mean. The Fox Effect is about turning basically moderate people into raving racist conspiracy theorists. You'll always have a core of those assholes, but they only get power by pulling in more


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:47 PM
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10: Exactly. And not understanding that Medicare and Social Security are "entitlement programs." They're not just previously looted pensions, either, since lots of cities are needing to renegotiate benefits, which I imagine fuels a lot of resentment entangled with racism towards current city residents. Ugh.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:51 PM
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I honestly don't have a great sense of how influential the Fox News morons are in creating people who vote like morons vs the "natural" moronitude of the Republican base.

I think the key is creating an electorate that A. always votes, and B. would literally never vote Dem. Fox doesn't turn a lot of liberals into right wing assholes, but it does turn a lot of vaguely conservative people into assholes who don't blink at, frex, Joe the Plumber saying, "I don't give a shit about your dead kid." There's more or less nothing that a culturally conservative public figure can say that's beyond the pale - unless it's insufficiently anti-liberal.

I don't think you get that sort of cohesion without a lot of internal reinforcement.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:52 PM
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One of us, or some enterprising liberal writer somewhere, should get their news exclusively from Fox, NRO and Instapundit for a month, and report back on whether they started to doubt any of their previous beliefs.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:55 PM
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There's gotta be twenty book proposals based on 17.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 3:58 PM
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*anyone who isn't already bought in, I mean. The Fox Effect is about turning basically moderate people into raving racist conspiracy theorists. You'll always have a core of those assholes, but they only get power by pulling in more

Which is why it's so important to not have Fox News on in barbershops and bars and airports and elsewhere.

It's always on at one bar where I have to go sometimes, and it's amazing how consistent it is. Not only is everything a lie, but the individual stories are all predicated on basic assumptions that are lies. Whether it's yet another example of how increasingly Christians are persecuted in America, or yet another example of how the IRS targets conservatives, or yet another example of how gun rights are being restricted, or yet another corrupt handout to an Obama crony, or yet another poor schmo being threatened and intimidated for not wanting to join a union, or yet another case of blameless white people being beat up by gangs of black people*, or yet another, the entire worldview is an unbroken series of bad news that the anchors deliver with sad, sheepish expressions. Message: Enough is enough! When will it stop!

It seems like you never see Fox News and some other news channel on at the same time in a quasi-public space, except the local news. Because there would just be too much contrasts between the two realities presented. You have to pick one or the other.

* For that one, the sad case of vigilante justice in inner-city Detroit, against a blameless white guy who had done nothing wrong but kill a kid with his car, was particularly popular. Unlike vigilante justice by NRA fans, vigilante justice is bad when it's done by people who actually do have no reason to trust the police.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:01 PM
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It's always on at one bar where I have to go sometimes,

I have questions about this, but I've decided it's more fun to come up with my own explanations.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 4:14 PM
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There's no point in having discussions, every issue devolves almost instantly to "stupid libruls" vs "crazy wingnuts". Might as well stick to whatever the TV tells me is the correct POV. I watch Gilligan's Island for the news.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:13 PM
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In a notoriously Fox-ified environment, there once was an Armoire-level official whose office TVs showed CNN instead of Fox. It was telling.


Posted by: Not Saying But You Could Figure It Out | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:26 PM
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I think I told the story here about how after one particularly excellent and nunaced constitutional law class at school I went to the cafeteria for a late lunch, and in the room with the TV someone had switched it to Fox News like they always did after 1 or so, and the discussion was about whether Justice Ginsburg should be impeached because she said in a speech to Egyptian jurists that constitutions more modern than the U.S. one had some really great features that they should consider. I never figured out why that TV was always on Fox News in the afternoons.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:37 PM
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I used to work in the Fox HQ in Manhattan, and the channel was always on in the gym where I used the treadmill at lunch.

Watching Fox News turns out to be a fabulous way of taking your mind off of your exertions, though YM (literally) MV.


Posted by: Herbert Hoover | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:40 PM
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I've seen Fox News playing as the default in the office of a public institution that FN would, to say the least, not disapprove of.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:44 PM
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Not approve of.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:44 PM
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My father frequently has it pointed out to him that he parrots the Fox News line. He responds that he doesn't watch Fox News. This is no doubt true.

There's a message machine that Fox is a part of - that Fox is probably the single most important part of - but it transcends Fox. My father does spout Fox News nonsense, but the nonsense is all the same wherever you go on the Right, and you can see that shit on CNN (which he does watch).

He likes to think of himself as an old-style Republican aristocrat, so he looks down on Fox. And he has no idea where his ridiculous talking points come from.

We all know how to tell if someone cheated on a test: If two people sitting near each other get the same ridiculous answer, then one copied from the other. Correct answers, or even plausible answers, aren't nearly so revealing.

My father is well-educated in economics, and he will tell you that the tepid recovery is the result of "uncertainty" created by Obama. That's Fox News stuff, even if it didn't come from there. There's no way that anyone could come up something that random and stupid without being fed it by a con man - or without being a con man.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 5:58 PM
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Anyone observe the commentary on "One America News"? IMO, it makes Fox seem like a gathering of the reasonable.

http://www.oann.com/


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 6:55 PM
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The first time I watched Fox news was in the summer of 2003, after several years of Pauline Kael-ish astonishment at the stupidity overtaking us. It was Bill O'Reilly, if I recall correctly. I could not believe how much of a smug, mendacious asshole he was, how absolutely he seemed like the kind of man who would be abusive. The show was literally horrifying to me, just viscerally corrosive.

That is one reason I got so sucked into the political internet. Who the hell were these people?!?

Mercifully, my father who might be in the susceptible demographic really doesn't like TV news and hates snouty angry people. I have to keep at him, though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:02 PM
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Snouty?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:05 PM
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I feel like I'm a broken record on this anyway, so let me re-post comment from the other thread on mainstream enablement of the blackguards.

And Jake "How are they any different from, say ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different? Tapper* has a lot to answer for. Or take this bit of drivel from Dylan "fucking fuckhead" Byers:

When MSNBC President Phil Griffin decided to turn his network into a liberal answer to Fox News, he was betting that there was a progressive audience out there to match the conservative faithful on the other side. That audience may exist. But people don't simply watch opinion channels because the programming matches their partisan views. The programming has to be compelling. I'm sure Griffin understands that, but unlike Roger Ailes, he hasn't been able to execute.
*I.e. the mainstream media, synechdochically speaking, sort of.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:07 PM
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30: They're fucking pigs!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:09 PM
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Snuffleupagus. He hates him.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:09 PM
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27: NPR trots out the "uncertainty" explanation all the time. Usually it's attributed to a specific person in the story, but they still act as though it's a reasonable thing to say.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:11 PM
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34: If "uncertainity" has existed at all it's because there are some nutball gooberfucks on the Repub side. Projection is what they do best.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:18 PM
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I forget precisely when it was, but at some point my father had a period where he'd watch O'Reilly and Hannity alone in the den. We managed to mock and scorn him out of it, but it was a close thing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:32 PM
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My dad moved from Republican to Democrat. I don't know exactly, but before W.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:37 PM
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37: Don;t think mine is a D, but he did vote for Obama in 2008. Not sure about 2012.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:39 PM
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My still-very-Catholic grandmother was so offended by W that she cut off Foxified friends who'd been a huge part of her life for 70+ years.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:44 PM
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JRoth gets it right in 14. My cohort is extremely susceptible to being FoxNews curious if not outright nuts (and good chunk of them are the latter).

Kill us all now while you can.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:47 PM
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If you want to borrow a long gun to carry to Target or Chipotle, you can borrow mine as long as you don't get guac on it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 7:56 PM
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40: Yes. I've noticed several of my long-time friends and acquaintances going nuts in one way or another in their late sixties and early seventies. Of course, I'm still perfectly lucid.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:02 PM
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Shouty. Autocorrect this time suggested "shifty," which wLuke have also been apropos.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:14 PM
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For fuck's sake: "wLuke" s/b "would." I give up.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:17 PM
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My father is well-educated in economics, and he will tell you that the tepid recovery is the result of "uncertainty" created by Obama. That's Fox News stuff, even if it didn't come from there. There's no way that anyone could come up something that random and stupid without being fed it by a con man - or without being a con man.

Or, you know, an econ professor at one of the freshwater schools. But I guess that's a special case of con man.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 8:32 PM
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You know why they call it Pew Research? Because it stinks! I bet they get some funding from Soros, and most of Soros' money is drug money. Also, MSNBC!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:00 PM
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17, 18: Outfoxed came out in 2004, but I don't think it had much uptake outside of liberal/progressive circles. But I doubt there's much new in Fox News since then.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:06 PM
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I often eat lunch at the BP cafeteria (which is open to the public), and they usually have Fox News on. Luckily the volume is very low so you can't really hear it. The visuals are still a fascinating glimpse into How The Other Half Thinks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-16-14 9:46 PM
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16: I've said this before, but an alternative model of the electorate to the classic median-voter theorem is one that incorporates mobilisation as a term and which models intra-party variance.

There is a spectrum of opinion in each party, which looks statistically like a distribution around a mean value. Operationally, if you want to appeal to Democrats or Republicans, you want to be somewhere near the mean for that party. Importantly, the further you are from it, the less popular within your party you will be.

If the right tail of the curve for Democrats overlaps the left tail of that for Republicans strongly, there's a tradeoff between popularity within the party and national popularity - a typical voter is closer to the national mean than either party mean. This is, basically, Broderworld. Triangulating and tacking to the centre will work. But there is no reason, as far as I know, to assume that this is a fact. Whether the distribution of opinion is adequately summarised by a normal or a binomial distribution is something you need to observe empirically.

In Binomial World, though, the centre is hollow. As you move towards it, you shed partisan popularity faster than you gain other-party support. There's no there there. If there is any point in centrism, it's in terms of a bargain between opposed camps.

Now, let's put in the option of abstaining. Each party's actual vote is some % of its potential maximum vote. A priori, we have no reason to think this is any different between parties. It seems sensible to think that more ideologically extreme individuals are more committed to politics in general, and hence more likely to vote. It also seems sensible to think that this is subject to diminishing returns - you can be crazy enough to scare people off. (You can derive the party distribution from this principle - the party mean opinion is likely to be that of the people who turn up.)

This leaves us with a choice of a widening or deepening strategy. We can either choose to run to the centre, and hope to broaden the base of support, or to mobilise partisan supporters. In Broderworld, running to the centre is a dominant strategy because you would need enormously high levels of extra mobilisation to match the additional votes you can capture by moving to the centre. But in Binomial World, asymmetric mobilisation is what you want - you want more of your guys to turn up and fewer of theirs. So you tack towards your camp's mean opinion weighted by mobilisation rate.

This is basically the point of Fox. In a society with important polarising identity issues, and fairly low participation, it's likely to be a better deal to rile up sympathetic nonvoters than it is to try to convert centrists.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:12 AM
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This is also why Hillary Clinton would be a terrible candidate - nobody on the Democrats' side wants her other than people who are paid to do so, and everyone on the Republican side despises her with passionate intensity. I.e. crappy mobilisation vs high mobilisation.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:14 AM
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****loon triple post*****

Over time, I wonder if you could argue that Broderworld necessarily collapses to Binomial World. After all, if triangulation always beats mobilisation, nobody will bother with mobilisation, and the participation rate will decline, until at some point somebody decides to try a mobilisation-first campaign.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:20 AM
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I think 49 is a plausible theory, but not actually supported by the facts. While being too lazy to look this up, I believe:

1) Fox doesn't actually cause nonvoters to vote in anything like significant numbers. Fox's core audience already votes and it is not turning nonvoters into voters.

2) Republicans do vote in larger numbers than Democrats but this is basically because rich people vote more than poor people; controlling for that, you don't see an increased result as the party has gotten more ideological. Put differently, the turn of the Republican Party to the right hasn't much increased, if at all, the regularity with which its voters turn out, and there's not an effect of ideology there.

3) The biggest effect of Fox, talk radio, etc. is probably making the Republican base more ideologically conformist and lockstep (and conservative). This is a powerful strategy in Republican primaries, which is why the Republicans fear talk radio, but far from a dominant one in general elections. Remember pretty few conservative Republicans in the US (largely governors, who Scott Walker excepted often tack moderate) actually won anything like a competitive race where a moderate Democrat could have won.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:55 AM
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"Vote in larger numbers" in 2 should have been "turn out more regularly in off year elections."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:57 AM
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I think there may be some Pauline Kaelism going on in 50. Plenty of Dem voters "want" her.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 4:33 AM
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Plenty of Dem voters "want" her.

This is true, and particularly so of women of a certain age. My mother, aunt, and mother-in-law are all enthusiastic (though they'd probably crawl across broken glass to vote for Elizabeth Warren).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 4:50 AM
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Stuff like what'sin 31 is what depresses me. The proper response to FoxNews is a shudder of disgust. It is hate speech pure and simple. Deployed in the name of the one true Republican ideology reducing taxes (or any other "burden") on the wealthy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:05 AM
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NYTimes: The arts, sophisticated living and real estate pron deployed in support of the wealthy.
WaPo: Warmongering deployed in support of the wealthy.
FoxNews: Hate speech deployed in support of the wealthy.
Sunday morning TV Shows: Wealthy assholes deployed in support of the wealthy.
Politico: "Both sides do it" deployed in support of the wealthy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:11 AM
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50 nobody on the Democrats' side wants her other than people who are paid to do so

Except, you know, probably at least half the people I know IRL, some of whom are still pissed off that Obama won the nomination in 2008 and think that Clinton would have been more "effective".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:29 AM
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Similarly, IME large numbers of IRL Democrats will tell you that MSNBC is just as bad as Fox in the opposite direction, and that CNN is the only "objective" news network.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:34 AM
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So yeah, I think Alex is living in Kaelworld. (Not too far from Halford, who's in kaleworld.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:35 AM
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CNN is the only "objective" news network

"Objective" used in the strictly Randian sense of "about a plane".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:43 AM
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Shit, totally screwed up the joke. I'm going to try again.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:43 AM
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CNN is the only "objective" news network

And that object is a plane.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:43 AM
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There we go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:43 AM
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The next two years: "Hillary Rodham cackles as she describes defending a child rapist."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:46 AM
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New joke. Why was the baby stapled to the chicken?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:47 AM
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though they'd probably crawl across broken glass to vote for Elizabeth Warren

I bet she'd win the election if that was a requirement. Although maybe the right hates her even more than they hate Clinton. My grandmother brings her up every time I see her. "That Harvard professor who's a Communist! I don't know what's going on up there, all those weird ideas they have." You have to imagine the sneering.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:52 AM
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That Harvard professor who's a Communist!

I'll need you to be more specific grandma.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:05 AM
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65: And sure enough the WaPo picks it up with headline "Conservatives are making hay out of Hillary Clinton's defense of an accused rapist". The article gets around to pointing out the partisan hypocrisy of it, yet basically reinforces all of the RW spin on the way to doing so. The defense in question happened in the mid-70s (she was a court-appointed attorney) and the tape of her talking about it was from the early 80s.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:08 AM
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I kinda feel like the HRC hating thing is played out and dulled by years of it in the 90s and then years of the Kenyan socialist. I mean obviously the game is gonna be played but at this point who doesn't already have a view. Plus that texting meme was a nice reverse judo flip, from bitch to badass.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:19 AM
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70: Agree, that there is a good chance that it will remain a sideshow for the deranged this time around. And as we've learned for a Dem to be hated with a passionate fury by the Fox News right requires nothing beyond being a Democrat.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:30 AM
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||

From the local mother's group:

I dont live in Heebietown, but I do live on the edge of [two towns about 30 min away], someone tried breaking into my house 2 weeks ago. Well yesterday morning I woke up to blood on mh front porch. Creepy shit!!! Looking for a gun now to protect myself!!

Followed by 50+ comments of gun advice so far. Gun ranges, 9mm vs 22, where to purchase, and so on.

No one has mentioned that the intruder seems to already be shot and is most likely a raccoon.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:31 AM
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Either a 9mm or a .22 will be good against a raccoon, but a shotgun would be better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:35 AM
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Democrats will tell you that MSNBC is just as bad as Fox in the opposite direction

MSNBC is as *partisan* as Fox (except Fox has no Joe Scarborough equivalent), but they aren't as brazenly dishonest. The Daily Show hit the nail on the head when they started calling FNC Bullshit Mountain.

I have a cousin who was mostly apolitical previously, but has gotten sucked into the right-wing media circus and now is willing to believe the most goddamned absurd conspiracy theories. The last email exchange we had, he was pretty convinced that the ACA included a "secret" provision to put RFID chips in everybody to track and control them (this nonsense). I tried patiently to explain that if the government wanted to track us, there were far easier, cheaper, and more effective ways to do that than trying to microchip 320 million people, especially for a government that can just barely run the census every ten years.

But at this point, he'll believe almost any stupid-ass thing imaginable. Fortunately, he stopped posting stories about the Knockout Game, which I am now convinced was invented solely to allow a bunch of pudgy, overcompensating white men to rant on Facebook what they would do to any black (obviously) teenager who tried to punch *them*.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:37 AM
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I've started sucker punching white guys on the street as a way of fighting racist stereotypes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:39 AM
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True story: When I was a kid my mother was a dope-smoking (literally -- the first joint I ever saw, my mama smoked at the Jazz Fest in New Orleans in 1980) far-Left hippie.

Fast-Forward through, what is it now, a decade and a half of Fox News? All I hear is how Obama isn't really black (he's HALF WHITE, you know) and how THOSE people on Welfare actually work under the table so they have plenty of money, and there's more to this Charter School debate than "they" want to tell you. Also do I know that Zimmerman wasn't a white guy?


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:00 AM
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Another $400 prenatal dr appt. USA! USA!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:04 AM
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Also what apostropher said. My far-right students will post the most astonishingly absurd conspiracy theories on FB, and bring them up in class, insisting they are, too, true -- Chemtrails is one of their favorites, and that the gun massacres (like Elliot Rodgers and the killings in Vegas) aren't actually happening, but are being staged so that Obama can take away our guns.

Chemtrails, by the way, is this theory they have that contrails are actually chemicals being sprayed by airliners that are chemically controlling our minds. OR they are chemically controlling the weather, and THAT is where global warming is coming from -- Obama's way of destroying the American economy.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:04 AM
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Wow.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:08 AM
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Some number of my basically left-wing but also basically ignorant a newage-awash friends in California have also been suckered by chemtrails, except that they think that they're a cloud-seeding operation that uses toxic chemicals (as in fracking) and is thus being covered up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:08 AM
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Also re: 50 et al, a Clinton nomination (although also a Warren nomination or any female candidate) will bring out some awesomely sexist bullshit that will reinforce core Democrats' hatred/fear of the Republicans & drive them to the polls.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:09 AM
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Air travel sort of sucks. If people keep on the chemtrail thing, maybe we can get some workable intercity rail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:09 AM
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Yeah, I once heard someone chatting neighbor-like about chemtrails on the sidewalk near where I lived in South Berk/eley.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:21 AM
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Thanks for explaining the chemtrails thing. I've seen it vaguely referenced but didn't want to actually go out of my way to find out, since depressingly crazy/stupid.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:26 AM
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You wait; they'll resurrect that old 19th century thing about how train travel is fatal because at speeds of over 50 mph you'd be unable to breathe.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:26 AM
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74 - If we allow the FDA to track the performance of various brands of pacemaker, the Beast will already have risen!!!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:27 AM
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I really couldn't believe this chemtrail shit when they started coming out with it. But yeah, they're serious.

And then they start arguing with each other about what chemtrails "really" are. "No, the chemicals control the weather!" "No, they're GMO crop control!" "No, they're for population control! Why do you think fertility is dropping? Huh?"

And they're just dead serious about all this.

"Jesus," I said. "It's just condensation."

They give me pitying looks. You poor innocent.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:28 AM
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85: Replace "breathing" with "poor maintenance" and you may be right here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:31 AM
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God, the chemtrail thing. The other insanity I get from my leftish hippie acquaintances is that drug companies NEVER EVER EVER want to cure any diseases because then nobody would buy their "medicines".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:38 AM
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I've never known anybody who believed the chemtrails thing. Or at least who said it aloud to me. I do know people who expound something like 89.last.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:43 AM
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One of my Facebook friends posted a link the other day with the comment "finally, a doctor admitting that diet cures cancer."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:44 AM
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Is that the Johns Hopkins fake post thing?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:46 AM
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Dunno. I hid it post-haste.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:48 AM
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I've got a vaccine-autism person on my FB feed but mostly it's sensible people. My cousin occasionally posts something praising Sarah Palin, but that's about it, thank the FSM.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:50 AM
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I do have one real life friend who I had to block on Facebook because she posts links to the Daily Mail all the time. Perfectly normal/sane person in real life.


Posted by: redducs mot | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:52 AM
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Thing is that, as a person with an abrasive, intolerant manner, I don't know if I know any chemtrail believers, because they would hide their beliefs from me for fear of mockery.

("How many talking tortoises have you met?"
"I don't know."
"What do you mean, you don't know?"
"Well, they might all talk. They might just not say anything while I'm around.")


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:53 AM
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The thing about chemtrails, et al, is that the suspicion is right, it's just misplaced. Corporations really do poison your environment. Just not like that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:56 AM
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I've got some anti-vaxxers too. They're not all vaccines-cause-autism though! Some are anti-vaxxers because they don't want the gummit getting its hands on their kids.

Or various other reasons. Do you know that there's MERCURY in vaccines, for instance? Or that NO ONE KNOWS what's in those vaccines? That's right, NO ONE KNOWS!!!


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:58 AM
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Hitler is in those vaccines.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:01 AM
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The big local fight seems to be fluoride. Local mothers are very, very worried about fluoride. A la "I sometimes forget that not everyone is as natural-minded as I am..." quote from recent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:02 AM
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I'm fine with fluoride in the water, but I don't want it in the toothpaste because I put that in my mouth.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:04 AM
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The sister of one of my high school friends has made herself a very successful career as a woo-friendly physician (she's a disciple of Dr. Oz); she has lately been posting these daily "you create your own reality!"-style inspirational quotes along with nature photos taken by my friend. It's all very odd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:07 AM
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That sounds so dirty.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:07 AM
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To 101.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:08 AM
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Chemtrails came up on the most recent Harmontown, which for some reason was an unsatisfying discussion of conspiracy theories. I knew about those, but it did throw up a new one to me, the conspiracy theory that the moon is a hollow metallic shell, basically all because a NASA scientist once described the results of seismic experiments as "The moon was ringing like a bell". Apparently the conspiracy theorists go nuts about impactor experiments too, claiming that NASA was bombing the moon for nefarious purposes.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:11 AM
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97: Ultimately all of the bullshit conspiracy theories come back to various coping mechanisms for the fact that shit is fucked up and bullshit. It's sort of divided between coping with the ways in which our society is FUAB and coping with the fact that life, in general, is FUAB (why do bad things happen to good people? Obama.).

IMO the reason most conspiracy theories are so stupid is that the window for acceptable explanations for why shit is FUAB is so narrow: when fairly straightforward history is beyond the pale (e.g. Nixon really did sabotage peace in Vietnam in 1968 to win election), then even reasonable-ish stuff like Chomsky seems out there, and soon you've got chemtrails and stuff. If mainstream discourse is pretty much insisting that shit is NOT FUAB, then people start turning everywhere with no discernment.

I mean, also people are kind of dumb and gullible, but there was a time when many, many dumb and gullible people believed that extremely wealthy people would tilt the system to their own benefit, and that the only way to stop them was to tax them heavily and organize labor. That's now viewed as being roughly on par with chemtrails (try bringing them both up on Scarborough).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:15 AM
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claiming that NASA was bombing the moon for nefarious purposes.

Now if they were bombing the moon for good purposes...


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:17 AM
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MSNBC is as *partisan* as Fox (except Fox has no Joe Scarborough equivalent), but they aren't as brazenly dishonest

Also, their hearts aren't in it. They chose to go liberal because it seemed like an unserved audience they could tap into. They say liberal things, but really they are just a business. This is the exact opposite of the way Fox works. Murdoch created Fox to advance his political agenda first, and make money second. You really can't compete with that.

CNN isn't objective. It is just directionless.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:17 AM
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Fox News viewers know many things. All of them wrong.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:20 AM
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Yeah, chemtrail awareness was especially high in Berk/eley for several years because of the flyers someone kept stapling to telephone poles.

IS THAT A CLOUD....? OR A CHEMTRAIL?

Pass the flyers enough times and that question will pop into your head whenever you see a cloud. I mean, how can you be sure? It's far away.

You could disperse the chemtrails with homemade orgone boxes.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:24 AM
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The orgone boxes used lead vapor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:25 AM
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Murdoch created Fox to advance his political agenda first, and make money second.

This is true, I think, but there's a shitload of money to be made by scaring people. The media always goes for the scary stories first, because that's what gets you eyeballs to sell to advertisers. The big deal about Fox is that all their scary stories break in one political direction, and they are completely given over to selling bullshit.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:28 AM
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Unfortunately, I think Fox's use of a guy like Brit Hume as a gravitas loss-leader kind of worked since he was "respected" in the rest of the TV news industry. (Although recently his bitter hatefulness has been coming through a bit more strongly than his serious sad voice.)

I suppose hiring neo-confederate blowhard George Will was a similar ploy. But Will seems to be about 2 martinis away from just coming right out with "negro, negro, negro.!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:29 AM
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claiming that NASA was bombing the moon

Yeah, had to talk a friend down about that as well. "They aren't *bombing* the moon. They're essentially crashing an empty schoolbus into the moon, then sending a probe through the dust plume to see what's a few feet below the surface." I'm not sure whether they really bought the explanation or just wanted out of the conversation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:33 AM
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64: 61 was better


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:41 AM
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106 gets it exactly right. Prevailing culture generally has a handwave for all the horrible stuff that's done right out in the open, so people's sense that everything is fucked gets channeled into theories about other horrible stuff being done in deadly secret.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:56 AM
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Does anyone else think that right wing media are working up to calling for our genocide? I've always been struck by how much like Rwanda's talk radio ours is.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:00 AM
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Yeah, had to talk a friend down about that as well. "They aren't *bombing* the moon. They're essentially crashing an empty schoolbus into the moon, then sending a probe through the dust plume to see what's a few feet below the surface." I'm not sure whether they really bought the explanation or just wanted out of the conversation.

The weird thing about the way it was presented on Harmontown was an emphsasis on the "fact" that NASA didn't tell anyone they were doing it or why. Which is true, if you ignore the LCROSS mission web page, its Facebook page, its Twitter account, and the flight director's blog.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:06 AM
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109 Fox News viewers know many things. All of them wrong.

I think I would be more open to Ezra Klein's new venture if he had called it Hedgehog News.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:10 AM
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Is Vox a play on Fox? No....


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:12 AM
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117: Yes, although I'm not sure about "working up". There's long been barely implicit calls for violence against liberals as a class.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:15 AM
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RW scrambling for correct talking points on what's wrong with the capture of the one Benghazi "ringleader." So far it seems to be that timing was "political." Semi-relatedly, via Twitter this great correction from the Times on an earlier article on the guy: An earlier version of this article misidentified the beverage that Ahmed Abu Khattala was drinking at the hotel. It was a strawberry frappe, not mango juice, which is what he had ordered.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:16 AM
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Clearly an attempt to distract from the latest devastating revelations in the IRS scandal.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:21 AM
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Or possibly from Bergdahl?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:22 AM
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Or from that thirty-year-old tape of Hilary Clinton.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:25 AM
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124: BERGDHAZI!!!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:31 AM
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I've been wanting to link to this lovely bit of haute wingnutissimus for a while. It's the logical end point of listening to only news from the right wing bubble. I am Spartacus.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:32 AM
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Wow that is so great. I am Spartacus because lamp.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:54 AM
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I am Spartacus because lamp.

LAMP? (sorry, clearly I'm just free-associating.)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 10:10 AM
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Ultimately all of the bullshit conspiracy theories come back to various coping mechanisms for the fact that shit is fucked up and bullshit.

True dat. As near as I can tell conspiracy wingnuttery is common all over the world, regardless of the local political flavor. Back in the day Europeans (particularly the French, naturellement) laughed at we unsophisticated Americans who didn't believe them.

Maybe everyone thinks shit is fucked up, everywhere. Can that really be the case?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 10:22 AM
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127 - Sarah Hoyt was one of the people involved with the recent SFWA unpleasantness that nobody who hasn't heard of it yet cares about; it's proof that there's basically no genre (hello former Batman writer Chuck Dixon!) that can't be wired-up for ressentiment-fueled grift.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 10:29 AM
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127

Sarah Hoyt has carved out that niche in the right-wing SF ecosystem. In their own minds I guess they are all Spartacus.

Now, a little more than a year later than that post she seems to have moved to being writer's-block depressed by the state of the nation and world.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 10:30 AM
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Bad link in 131 -- try this.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 10:32 AM
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The success of Fox is explained bv the fact that "this entry was posted in National Security".

It takes the cultural resentments, anxieties, and irritants that every ageing population will have and then, through consistent messaging and hocus pocus, grafts an economic and foreign policy agenda on top of them.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 10:58 AM
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Maybe everyone thinks shit is fucked up, everywhere. Can that really be the case?

Well, yes and no. Somebody is always getting screwed systematically, and so somebody is always going to be looking for an explanation, and humans want narratives, not charts or technocratic mumbo jumbo about "creative destruction", thus conspiracies. However, I think that the breadth and depth of such theorizing varies with A. how fucked up shit is, and B. to what extent plausible, non-conspiracy theories are available to be accepted without looking like a loon.

Earlier I used union propaganda as an example of an acceptable story to explain what was wrong with the world ca. 1900, but here's the reverse: after 1980, US manufacturing went into a nosedive (after an up and down decade), for all sorts of reasons. But the official, acceptable explanation was a simplistic Blame the Unions story that lots of people - including union members - basically accepted. Fundamentally, it's only a little more true than chemtrails, and a lot less true than, say, No War for Oil, but it was acceptable discourse, and so it was taken up by a wide swath of people who were happy to be able to acknowledge that shit is FUAB without having to sound like radicals/hippies/conspiracy theorists.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:00 AM
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I am Spartacus because of insanity over brown bagging it, and women in chain mail bikinis -- and these are my middle fingers at all that.

I thought she was nuts until I got to this one, but now I'm pretty upset about Chappaquiddick.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:03 AM
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136: What is this about?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:08 AM
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You can't take a sandwich to work with you in a bag? Because of Obama?
And I am honestly unclear whether the grievance is the women in chain mail bikinis, or the insanity over them. Is Obama responsible for too much Frank Frazetta cosplay, or not enough? (Don't answer that, Halford.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:13 AM
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138: I googled "brown bagging it' and it does apparently have another meaning, but it's still not clear to me what it could possibly have to do with Obama and/or the Left.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:15 AM
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If I remember from The Wire, doesn't it also mean getting round no-drinking-in-public laws by drinking from a bottle inside a paper bag?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:16 AM
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Tell you what, I'll ask this Hoyt woman and report back.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:17 AM
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138: There was some upset about an issue of the official Science Fiction Writer's Association magazine having a fairly typical crappy fantasy chick-in-chainmail cover; there was a great deal more upset when that was followed up by a column from a regular columnist concerning how "I know this isn't politically correct but wow all these broads shrieking about that cover are hysterical". The editor of the SFWA magazine lost her job over the latter column, in the end.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:18 AM
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139: Look it up on Urban Dictionary. I have no idea what could be there, but I'm fairly certain it will cut your desire for lunch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:19 AM
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MICHELLE NOBAMAS CHICAGO THUGS WILL ORDER YOU HOW TO FEED YOUR CHILDRENZ!!1!

Or maybe...


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:20 AM
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142: aha, that makes sense. But is Hoyt upset by the cover, or by the CENSORSHIP??


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:20 AM
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142: Thanks!

I still don't get the "brown bagging it" part though.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:21 AM
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I think it's a reference to one of the previous rounds of the interminable SFWA culture wars between brave truthsayers like Hoyt or Vox Day and [those people] like N.K. Jemisin or their allies like John Scalzi. (The editor of the "SFWA Bulletin" stepped down after some folderol, including people pointing out that maybe a trade magazine that was currently embroiled in arguments over sexism shouldn't have cover art that looked like it came off the side of a van.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:21 AM
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Putting it in a brown paper wrapper like it was "Penthouse" or "Godless Evolution Monthly".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:22 AM
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145: You have 3 guesses, ajay.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:28 AM
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So it's actually "I have been driven to the point of violent insurrection by, among other things, a squabble over the cover art on a minor industry magazine"? Parturiunt montes, nascetur mus ridiculus!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:28 AM
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148: It all makes sense now. Thank you!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:29 AM
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150: Hey, the civil rights movement wa s all about getting to eat in lousy diners!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:33 AM
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OK, I'm confused. Who is pro-chain mail bikini here, Obama or the Tea Partiers?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:36 AM
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You know, I don't think that just saying "I am Spartacus" really give you cred if you aren't saying it to an actual Roman Legion.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:45 AM
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153: Think about it, man! Feminism! It's part of the Islamofacistcommunist plot!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:50 AM
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153

Hoyt: for (as Spartacus would be)
Obama: against (in his capacity as the locus of all evil)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 11:52 AM
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The big deal about Fox is that all their scary stories break in one political direction, and they are completely given over to selling bullshit.
I wonder if scary stories in general don't have a conservative bias.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 12:11 PM
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@ 48
Hey Teo, what's their best dish in your opinion?


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 12:22 PM
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I am 157!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 12:24 PM
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I wonder if scary stories in general don't have a conservative bias.

Maybe liberal scary stories are like this but conservative scary stories are like this.

Perhaps Ls think the past was crap and the future can be laudable while Cs think the past was laudable and the future is crap.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 12:29 PM
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160.3: And yet...

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals

Quote on masthead of Ms. Hoyt's blog.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 12:36 PM
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But a story with a crap past and a hopeful future isn't scary. The liberal scary stories I can think of are primarily environmental, and they don't seem particularly successful at motivating people.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 12:36 PM
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160 But they both agree the present is crap. Common ground!


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 12:36 PM
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The fiunniest thing is that at the end, she acknowldeges she's on the side of the Roman Empire against Spartacus.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 12:39 PM
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162: the argument would be that we *could* have the better future, but the Cs want to drag us back to the crappy past.

That's just what I think the argument is, not whether or not I think it is correct.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 12:52 PM
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Liberals haven't gotten much traction with scary stories about conservatives. Of course, they haven't really tried until recently.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 12:59 PM
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...except on civil rights. Okay, fair enough.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:02 PM
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HRC is being stalked by a giant orange squirrel:

The so-called "HRC squirrel" even has its own Twitter handle and donation page filled with groan-inducing puns like Clinton is "trying to hide her record on #Benghazi the way I hide acorns" and "Don't squirrel around, vote Republican."

Thank fucking god for social unintelligence.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:03 PM
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Aren't you only supposed to say "I am Spartacus" if you are publically identifying with someone being unjustly persecuted in order to help that person evade the authorities. Who is the actual Spartacus if you say "I am Spartacus because Benghazi"?

I had to read that several times before I realized Fast and Furious wasn't a car-racing movie franchise she was upset about for some reason.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:10 PM
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I like meme-squirrels better when they have visible testicles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:10 PM
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As far as chainmail bikinis go, there is a time and a place for them, just like there is for most things. But that time and place is probably not the cover of a trade magazine.

OTOH, I think there is a time and a place for this bathing suit for men and I think the widespread reaction against it is the product of homophobia, body shaming, and double standards. Of course, the people who produced the suit were trolling for just that reaction.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:15 PM
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169.1: That's part of the incoherence that endears it to me. It just doesn't make any sense.

Also the fact that she apparently expects to be rounded up and shot for being Spartacus at any moment kind of makes me pity her. It must be hard living in that bubble.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:18 PM
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170: You want a Benghazi Tanuki?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:20 PM
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OTOH, I think there is a time and a place for this bathing suit for men

Can I be in favor of men wearing small bathing suits if they want to, and particularly in favor if they happen to be men I find appealing, and yet vehemently opposed to that particular thing? Because I believe myself to be all of those things.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:21 PM
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OK, a Tanuki is not technically a squirrel, but they make up for that in the balls department.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:21 PM
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That swimsuit does not look comfortable. No sir.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:22 PM
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Also the fact that she apparently expects to be rounded up and shot for being Spartacus at any moment kind of makes me pity her

Are we any different? Look at 117.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:23 PM
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173: This guy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:23 PM
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174: Just in general, I'm opposed to clothing held on by things rammed up your butt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:24 PM
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Another $400 prenatal dr appt.

WT fucking F?!?!?!

Isn't this the second time they have charged you your deductible?

(And the whole thing is bogus, as discussed here before.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:34 PM
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I wonder if that suit comes in a dress-left model and a dress-right model. Because, if you were on the wrong side, it seems like it could get pretty uncomfortable.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:42 PM
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...except on civil rights. Okay, fair enough.

I don't think it qualifies as a "scare story" when it consists of "having the national news show your opponents acting the way they normally do."

Furthermore, in the post-Bull O'Connor era, I'd argue that conservatives have been much more effective at drumming up fear around civil rights than liberals have. I mean, the whole vote restriction thing should be an absolute home run for liberals - it's patently anti-democratic, seeks to reverse 2 centuries of expanding voting rights, and it's awfully close to poll taxes and the like. Oh yeah, and 2000. And yet we've gotten no traction whatsoever.

The bottom line is that conservatism is grounded in fear and liberalism isn't, and, while the Dem party and liberal messaging groups could probably do better than they do, it's not a game we can ever win.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 1:52 PM
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182.last: Documentary of the last 30 years of American politics: Hope Strikes Out.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:05 PM
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179: Surely that's not a policy without exceptions. Vegan friendly!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:21 PM
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180: I have a $2000 deductible.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:23 PM
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184 to the OP.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:27 PM
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184: I'm glad to learn I have not lost the capacity for surprise.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:29 PM
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Customers who bought this product also bought: Wartenberg Wheel! I'm learning something here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:30 PM
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187,188: Is our commenters learning?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:31 PM
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I was most surprised, I think, that it was sold by Amazon. Not with any particular justification, I just think of Amazon as the normal part of the Internet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:32 PM
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190: Anti-fursonist.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:40 PM
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That particular vendor has a bunch of other sex toys, as well as the Crazycity Water Nipple Drinker Chicken Feeder Poultry Duck Hen Screw In Style NEW, which does not require a drip cup. recommended three birds per nipple. Nineteen left in stock.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:42 PM
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That sucks for the fourth person.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:51 PM
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In a truly bizarre coincidence, the strawberry frappe drinking leader of the Benghazi attackers just got picked up by SF.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:52 PM
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194: FALSE FLAG!


Posted by: Fox News Viewer | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:56 PM
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#177 I don't think you can use me as evidence that liberals are like something, because I'm not really a liberal, even though I am trying to be.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:57 PM
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194: Already being spun on Fox as an attempt to distract from the latest round of hearings.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 2:59 PM
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...aaaand pwned by 195. Fuck you, Fox News Viewer.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 3:00 PM
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Sinn Fein? What potential this could have!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 3:02 PM
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San Francisco. Proving he was a liberal after all.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 3:04 PM
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Liberal intolerance!


Posted by: Fox News Viewer | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 3:04 PM
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Sinn Feincisco?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 3:05 PM
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It's hard to take you seriously with that thing in your ass, NV.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 3:10 PM
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What would the Fox wear?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 3:14 PM
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In a truly bizarre coincidence

My comment was precipitated by the news of his capture, and I have no doubt that the tweet I saw about the frappe was likewise.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 4:00 PM
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204: It does bring to mind a delightful picture to one's mind for Fox and Friends.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 4:02 PM
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Next thing is Ron refuses to wear a tail, even in our bed room. Well as the dominate and alpha he has that right.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 4:05 PM
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Josh Marshal tweet: Obama regime propaganda about "the video" sparking attack so pervasive it even convinced the guy who led the attack.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 4:21 PM
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So is the "scandal" about Benghazi still that the attack was originally misreported as a public protest turned violent, rather than a planned attack?

Also, what was the "scandal" part of the Fast and Furious scandal? Are the people at Fox opposed to all gun walking operations, or was there something about this particular gun walking operation that was scandalous? If it is just about this particular operation, was there a problem other than the fact that it didn't work as planned?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 5:14 PM
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The Fast and Furious just confuses the hell out of me. I don't understand the mindset that is simultaneously holds the view that efforts to prevent straw purchases of guns are a violation of core Constitutional values, AND is upset that the ATF didn't prevent straw purchases of guns. It takes a special kind of brain to hold those two positions simultaneously.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:10 PM
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On the other hand, if its just an excuse to say "Fuck Eric Holder", I can go along with that. Maybe he's not quite as bad an Obama appointment as Geitner was, but we get 8 whole years of him.

I wonder if he'll stay on with the Clinton administration, or if the Clintons are still mad at him for recommending the Marc Rich pardon.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:14 PM
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It takes a special kind of brain to hold those two positions simultaneously.
I'm guessing that soon we'll also have "Benghazi guy is a distraction, not important, who we could have captured any time AND WHY AREN'T WE TORTURING HIM YET TO LEARN WHAT HE KNOWS!"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:41 PM
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212: probably already been said by a combo of Sens Graham, McCain, and Ayotte.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 6:44 PM
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a combo of Sens Graham, McCain, and Ayotte.

Human Centipede III


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 7:18 PM
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Human Centipede III: Now That's What I Call a Votic Bloc.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:02 PM
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Hey Teo, what's their best dish in your opinion?

The menu changes a lot from day to day, but pretty much everything I've had has been quite good. Last time I was there I had a sort of Peruvian burrito thing (quinoa, meat, and vegetables wrapped in a tortilla), which was great.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 8:05 PM
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I'm partial to the orchidometer.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-17-14 9:31 PM
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177: Field site near one of mine is effectively closed by a guy on the road there who is (a) threatening to kill liberals and environmentalists and (b) well-armed. Rancher on the way to another of mine made sure I saw his `hunting licences' for ...liberals and environmentalists. I assumed rancher was unfunny-joking, but something convinced the managers near the first site that their dude isn't.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 2:24 AM
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re: 218

I don't know how it would be possible to interact those people at all without just punching some fuckers in the mouth.

'Fucking hard now, eh, gun boy? With yer teeth all over the fucking floor. Now, shove that hunting license up your arse. No, I'm not joking. Start pushing, fuck-o.'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 2:29 AM
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40-something me is cowardly, and weak. But teen and twenty-something me, pretty much always called those people's bluffs. I can't ever remember any petty-bully of that type ever actually standing up.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 2:30 AM
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I spend days on end crawling over the adjacent fields, alone, though. I'd expect anyone I punched to get drunk and angry and get the drop on me within a month or two especially if they backed down once. Or just slash my tires and wait for me on the way out.

Similar thing, less cinematic, always struck me living in the worst rustbelt town I ever lived in. Some people recommended going armed -- I did get mugged, as many of my friends did, including one of the armed ones -- but I never could figure out how to do the other stuff I needed to do and keep the gun usable. Wrestling groceries up exterior stairs, lying half under a car fixing it on the street -- pretty often I need to use both hands and my eyes at the same time. Doubtless gunnies have a theory about this, probably that they have a sixth sense for danger.



Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 3:22 AM
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117 et seq. It's hard to work out from three thousand miles away, whether US liberals are irresponsibly exaggerating the stuff that the right say and do, and that the Republican establishment endorses, or whether they are suicidally complacent victims of it-can't-happen-here syndrome.

Both options are unfortunate, but if push comes to shove, I have to hope it's the former.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 3:23 AM
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It's hard to work out from the MIDDLE of it. I mean, guy thwarting fieldwork may be a bad joke, but there's a big pile of flowers for this weeks' spite spree killing two neighborhoods away from me.

I've thought since I was a teen that we were about to fall into It Can't Happen Here, and in bad nights I try to comfort myself with the belief that this is just my self-aggrandizing paranoia, but instead think it's already happened.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 3:28 AM
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Thank you for that comforting response. I feel so much better now.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 3:36 AM
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We are not on the verge of a fascist takeover. The level of political violence in the US is laughably low. probably the lowest it's been in history. Some stupid fucking ranchers are not the flashpoint for revolution.

The hysteria on the right is because they're losing, not because they're getting organized to win. A big fraction of the US is super fucking racist. A black President is basically their worst nightmare, and it has happened.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 4:41 AM
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re: 221.first

Yeah. I suppose the gun thing raises the stakes on that.

I wonder if these macho gun types realise that they are pretty much the quintessence of cowardice?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 4:46 AM
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The level of political violence in the US is laughably low. probably the lowest it's been in history.

Your level of political violence is terrifying high compared to almost all of the rest of the Western world, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 4:46 AM
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Huh, Bush I was President during Ruby Ridge. The Fox effect has gotten to me too.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 4:46 AM
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226.last. No, not at all.

225.2 I think that, too. I hope we're right.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 4:52 AM
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225. So, both.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 4:55 AM
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BLM ranger and highway cop shot by sovereign citizen nut. It sure feels like things are getting more violent. I mean, not KKK violent, but pretty damn bad.

Your level of political violence is terrifying high compared to almost all of the rest of the Western world, though.

You'd have to exclude the Troubles, surely.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 5:11 AM
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re: 231

True, but those have sort of been over for nearly two decades.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 5:32 AM
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The level of political violence in the US is laughably low.

That depends on whether you recognize the drug war as political violence.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 5:42 AM
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Or the French riots in 2005 and 2007.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 5:42 AM
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This thread reminds me that the Flip-Pater is pretty squarely in the being-driven-mad-by-Fox-News demographic and yet unmoved by that stuff. He did yell at Phil Gramm's image on one occasion, but otherwise his most notable response to television news was starting to cry while Jim Lehrer was reading the names and ages of American casualties in Iraq one evening.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 5:42 AM
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225.2: I think that's a semi-strawman argument, in that the worriers (of which I am one) are not saying that fascism is imminent, but that there's a real danger of another very dark turn for the United States.

I think you've failed to take into account the contingent nature of history. Circumstances are changed by events, and events aren't all that predictable.

By your description, 1999 was a time in America when we weren't at significant risk of a harsh rightward turn, given the obvious desperation of the impeachment and the associated nonsense. It's possible that you would argue that there was, in fact, no hard right turn in the subsequent 15 years (ACA! Gay marriage!), but I would disagree.

Fear, instability and crisis are the friends of fascism. And - whether wittingly or not - the Republican Party has been openly trying to bring about those things, and has had a lot of success.

When Bush was president, Congress did what it needed to in order to stabilize the economy. When Obama took over, the Republican strategy turned to open sabotage. Sure, the debt ceiling thing was theater - enough Republicans would have been hurt that default was never really on the table. But a second Great Depression? But for unified Democratic control of Congress, that could've happened, and if it had, all bets would be off. You certainly wouldn't have seen an Obama win in 2012, and a guy like Romney would have had a lot tougher time getting the nomination.

An untimely recession could still give us the craziest government in my lifetime - and I am older than 6 years old. The politics of the United States have been deteriorating in vital ways for more than 30 years, and every time it's tempting to think we've hit bottom, the Right finds a new bottom. The truth is: We don't know yet how low we can sink.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 5:56 AM
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re: 234

Not really the same kind of thing at all. Minor riots and political protests: everywhere - France, Greece, Spain, the UK, etc.

People being shot, not so much.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 5:59 AM
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I agree with 236.

We don't have to go full on fascist to Fuck Shit Up.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:05 AM
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An untimely recession could still give us the craziest government in my lifetime - and I am older than 6 years old.

Natural disaster's can bring this about as well. I am reminded of what happened right after Katrina, when white people started shooting black people for the crime of trying to get out of the city. But the scope of Katrina was geographically limited, and short term. Whats going to happen when climate change kicks in?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:11 AM
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237: I guess I'd say that we rarely have even minor political riots or groups of people burning shit down. Those are acts I'd call political violence. If we're limiting political violence to "armed rebellion against government agents," we don't have much of that in either place. I'd say that while the US has armed antigovernment nuts, the problem of violence the other direction is more of a common problem. (I don't disagree with the thought that we're slipping into an increasingly repressive society, but I do think that racism is a driver for this particular battle, and I think it will be less so over time.)

We had the crazy militias under Clinton, too, and they didn't amount to much. They're playing at being brave, manly patriots, but I don't think they're cut out for real insurrection.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:21 AM
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We had the crazy militias under Clinton, too, and they didn't amount to much.

Oklahoma City was considered kind of a big deal at the time.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:24 AM
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238: This is the US. People get shot. Half the stories you tell about fights in Scotland would end with somebody going to their car to get their gun in the US.

236, 239: Then the ranchers are neither here nor there, and clew has no reason to be more worried than before.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:24 AM
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Just before Clinton, my dad was getting "judgements" against him in the "courts" of some group that shared an ideological underpinning with the militia movement. They were really oddly worded and the judgement, which was for many millions of dollars, was supposed to be paid in pre-1964 coins (because they still had silver back then). I think that particular bunch of guys stopped after the Oklahoma City bombing because they realized some of the other people were really fucked up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:31 AM
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241: At the risk of sounding utterly heartless, it was mostly a big deal because it was the biggest act of homegrown terrorism (yeah, I don't like that term much, but that's how it goes into the history books, I think). It wasn't a sustained campaign of terror or rebellion. There were significant changes to security at government facilities, but overall, it was a single tragic event. Given all the coverage and the level of paranoia, I'd say it was surprising that a single large event was the only real act of the militia/anti-government movement. At the time, I sort of expected that to set off a chain of similar events, or militias trying to occupy town halls or something more.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:33 AM
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244: fair point. In fact it was more like the Omagh bombing - the movement which had perpetrated it was shocked by the scale of what they'd managed to do and decided not to do that sort of thing again.
(Looking it up, I notice that it produced its own mini-Patriot Act in response - AEDPA, reducing the time in which prisoners can file a habeas corpus petition. Utterly irrelevant to the bombing, of course, but never let a good crisis go to waste.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:37 AM
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If one were to believe and take seriously the rightwing's rhetoric violence would seem to be called for. It's fortunate that most conservatives don't actually take this stuff seriously. Every once in a while, someone follows their logic to its conclusion and there's a minor tragedy. The rest are basically LARPing.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:38 AM
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Half the stories you tell about fights in Scotland would end with somebody going to their car to get their gun in the US.

Yeah, as I said. Cowards.

I realise that's a fairly childish response. Makes no real sense intellectually, and if I was thinking about violence on an intellectual level, I'd be saying different things. But, on a purely gut emotional level, I can't avoid thinking that, guns = wimps.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:52 AM
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It's fortunate that most conservatives don't actually take this stuff seriously.

It only takes a few to kill a ton of people, per 241. Of course the FoxNews demographic is too stupid, fearful, and diabetic to actually start a new Civil War; they flew into full panic mode over the Knockout Game, for crying out loud. But nobody should discount the effect of violent rhetoric on unstable listeners.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:00 AM
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guns = wimps

This x 1000.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:00 AM
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Still, if you ask me Batman is just showing off by never, ever using one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:04 AM
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Desperately Seeking Gavrilo Princip: The TV Series.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:11 AM
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248: I just googled "NRA diabetes outreach" but I guess they're not that ahead of the curve yet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:14 AM
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Possibly related: I know a guy who is starting a business making all-terrain wheel chairs. I think that will be his target market.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:18 AM
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So, the Obama regime (in this case the PTO) is degrading cherished national institutions, such the Racist Legacy of George Preston Marshall. Anti-Colonialism!! D'Souza was Right!!!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:40 AM
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244: I still feel a faint dread around April 19th every year.

Also, too, Gabby Giffords.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:40 AM
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Anyway, I basically endorse 236. As I said way up above, I think that at some point the demographics will overwhelm the current flavor of conservatism, such that it can't hold Congress even with gerrymandering/natural geographic advantages/voter suppression, but there's a lot of time between now and then for them to get power and fuck shit up.

Brownback is completely fucking up Kansas (slashed taxes, resulting in 0 new jobs and massive debt), but it won't stop Kansans from voting GOP. Hell, the number of red states that have refused the Medicaid expansion is mind-blowing, and hard to square with any theory of political science that presumes that serving citizens wins votes. Point being, I think things that are happening right now are beyond what any of us could have imagined 10-15 years ago. And that's setting aside all of the civil liberties stuff and the Supreme Court's push to return us to ca. 1890 economic laws.

In this situation I always think of the Monty Python sketch with the guy playing the mouse organ, which turns out to be a series of mice that he hits with a big mallet. When he plays, he's acting very proper, as if it's primarily about the music, but as they drag him offstage, he lunges to pound a few more mice.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:49 AM
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George Zimmerman is held up as a hero in some circles. That's a pretty scary thing.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:50 AM
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246: The rest are basically LARPing.

I think this is almost right except the LARPers desperately want a chance to shoot somebody without negative consequences for themselves*. It's fantasy but there's a real desire there for actual violence.

*I think this is part of why the knockout game and home invasion hysteria resonates. They are situations where you can legitimately kill someone without going to prison.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:51 AM
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Also too, preppers. Some people are very enthusiastically awaiting the breakdown of the rule of law.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 7:52 AM
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I think this is almost right except the LARPers desperately want a chance to shoot somebody without negative consequences for themselves*.

Is Fox News still lionizing that guy who lured teenagers onto his property while he hid in the shadows, so he could shoot them in the head with no warning and then record himself ranting about vermin?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:01 AM
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There was pretty significant right wing violence in Germany in the early nineties - a couple dozen dead people IIRC. Greece has had some scary shit lately with Golden Dawn people. Europe in the seventies and eighties had some pretty significant political violence: in Italy 'the years of lead' is not a reference to Kevin Drum's favorite hobby horse. You had political, business, security service figures getting gunned down on a fairly regular basis in Spain until recently. Then there was the little brouhaha in the ex-Yugoslavia, and right now people are dying in Ukraine. All in all, I'd say the idea Europe has plenty of political violence. It's just that instead of being done by isolated nutcases it's people from organized groups of violent nutcases.

And on a much less lethal level, Britain seems to be having a bit of an epidemic of anti-Polish violence if the Polish press is to be believed. (Guns don't kill people, people kill people - and they're a hell of a lot better at it when they've got guns).


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:01 AM
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Martin Howard Winters, 55, remained at large late Monday. He and five other people were indicted June 5 by a federal grand jury on sealed charges that arose from an investigation of a group called the River Otter Preppers, which Winters headed, according to court records.

The destructive devices -- metal tubes designed to fire 12-gauge shotgun shells -- were intended to function as booby traps, according to a 24-page search warrant affidavit that lays out the government's case.

Winters and the River Otter Preppers "are preparing for an end-of-times event as prophesied by the Book of Revelations in the Bible which he believes will occur in the near future," the affidavit states, "which will require individuals to rely on themselves for food and protection from other individuals and the federal government."

Last October, Winters told an FBI undercover employee that he had spent $200,000 on his preparations and that he had buried 60 AR-15 firearms in four barrels in the ground, the record states. They toured the neighborhood, and Winters pointed out bunkers that he keeps on three east Hillsborough County properties, two on Williams Boulevard and one on Spring Road.

He seems nice.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:02 AM
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but as they drag him offstage, he lunges to pound a few more mice.

Apo and I approve.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:03 AM
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260: Carp's neighbor or is there another?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:06 AM
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River Otter Preppers

That could also be the title for a line cook at an unusual restaurant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:08 AM
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264: The murderer in Minnesota was worse than him in terms of sheer viciousness towards his victims. Though he didn't explicitly lure them into the garage with tempting items to steal, like the case in Missoula.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:10 AM
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260: That dude is the epitome of the type I'm talking about. He is different from the rest only in that he had the gumption to act on his horrible fantasies.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:12 AM
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That's some fucked up shit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:13 AM
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Britain seems to be having a bit of an epidemic of anti-Polish violence if the Polish press is to be believed.

I live in an area with a very large Polish population, and I've not read anything of that sort in the local press. Also, without wanting to stereotype Poles, the local Polish community doesn't really look like a community set up to be victims of violence.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:38 AM
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Did they play White Wedding?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:41 AM
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re: 261.lat

Actually, googling the UK press, there's a fair bit of anti-Polish harassment in Belfast, apparently, but there's a fair bit of anti-everyone-foreign-and-or-from-just-round-the-corner-harassment in Belfast. The other references I can find are all from 5 or 6 years ago.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:42 AM
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The thing that makes the American case distressing isn't the existence of armed far-right extremists, but the degree to which the establishment political right is beholden to the far right extremists. I don't get the impression that the Tories really care much about what the hooligans who harass immigrants think. (And this is in part why UKIP is on the rise, right?) On the other hand, everyone in the Republican party feels obligated to stand with the open-carry goons who take AR-15s into Chipotle.

Other European nations may be like the US, in that the mainstream political right has strong connections to fascist thugs. I don't know.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:55 AM
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262:"are preparing for an end-of-times event as prophesied by the Book of Revelations in the Bible which he believes will occur in the near future,"

Just watched This Is the End with one of my kids last night. Second time I've seen it, and I laughed (again) a lot despite myself. You've got to like the stupid to like it, but if you do like the stupid you are liable to like it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 8:59 AM
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272 is correct. I'd add that while Eggplant's observation about LARPing is also correct, the hard-right doesn't distinguish between its own LARPing and the real behavior of Congress. Real legislation, to them, is all about play-acting and posturing. As is foreign policy (obviously).

The Money People were never going to allow a U.S. default, but a substantial minority of the Republicans really weren't kidding. To them, posturing exists entirely separately from consequences, and they publicly outlined how they'd spin an economic disaster if they'd succeeded in bringing one about. (Obama could just cut spending, etc.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 9:03 AM
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Under Sarko several significant figures were former members of a violent far right student organization and at least one served time on terrorism charges. His version of Karl Rove was a longtime far right activist. On the other hand, the active far right types aren't actually part of the party. On the third hand the FN is a hell of a lot more important than any fringe groups to the right of the Repubs, and the thugs are very much part of the FN. In Poland the mainstream opposition has at times allied itself with straight up fascists and has courted far right soccer hooligans. In Austria one of the three main parties is led by the equivalent of League of the South alumni. In Germany on the other hand, while the mainstream right will happily make xenophobic gestures to shore up its right flank, having a past as a far right activist means you're politically dead for life, and possibly professionally dead as well (being part of an 'anti-constitutional' organization, right or left, can lead to a ban on being employed in most public sector jobs, and lots of major companies refuse to employ such people as well).


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 9:15 AM
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New figures reveal dramatic increase in hate crimes against Polish people

Damian Citko was attacked outside the Cross Keys pub in Dagenham in January by 15 men as he was about to drive off on his motorbike. The group beat him to the ground with kicks and punches. "They kicked my head so hard that even though I was wearing a helmet I had black eyes," says Citko, 39, a network administrator from Opole, who arrived in Britain shortly after Poland's accession to the EU in 2004. "All I could hear while they were beating me was: 'Go back to Poland, go back home.'"
Citko is just one of hundreds of Poles who are victims of race crime every year in the UK. Exclusive figures obtained for Society Guardian through freedom of information requests reveal that, in 2013, police officers arrested 585 people for a hate crime (such as a violent assault, vandalism or a public order offence) against a Pole - one person every 14 hours. That's a tenfold increase from 2004. And the total number of arrests is likely to be much higher, because only 26 of the country's 46 forces replied to the Guardian's request for information.
In a recent survey of 1,000 Polish people by journalism students at the London College of Communications, nearly three-quarters (71%) said they had been subjected to some form of abuse and knew someone who had been physically attacked because they were Polish.

While Belfast is disproportionately represented, the largest number are Hertfordshire.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 5:24 PM
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Exclusive figures obtained for Society Guardian through freedom of information requests reveal that, in 2013, police officers arrested 585 people for a hate crime (such as a violent assault, vandalism or a public order offence) against a Pole - one person every 14 hours. That's a tenfold increase from 2004.

Not disputing the thrust of the story per se, but that stat without context doesn't tell us much. The Polish population in the UK has increased roughly tenfold since 2004, and I'd also be curious to see what the overall increase in hate crime is over the same period.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 5:49 PM
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True, though I wonder if the ten fold figure takes into account the people working illegally in Poland prior to the opening of the job market. I knew a hell of a lot of Poles who did that in the nineties and early 2000's.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:15 PM
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Plus, as the article seems to be saying that the ten fold figure is an underestimate since so many police authorities refused to provide figures. I assume that includes London since even if the hate crime rate were well below average, with one quarter of the UK Polish population they'd presumably make the top three.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-18-14 6:20 PM
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