Category Archives: fear porn

Today’s RW Freakout: Obama Is Never, Ever, Ever Going To Leave!

[UPDATE]:

Y’all, Rand Paul is on it!

————————–

Oh, Texas. You make me laugh. You make me cry. But mostly, you make me laugh:

For a made-up military mission, Jade Helm 15 is impressively elaborate: The two-month simulation planned for this summer spans much of the Southwest, requiring special forces from four branches of the military to carry out covert operations amid “hostile” territory in Texas, Utah and part of California.

In at least one of those states, hostility toward the operation has begun a few months early. Online and at in-person meetings, many Texans have expressed suspicion and outright opposition to the project. Some are understandably worried about how it’ll affect their daily lives, while conspiracy theorists claim it’s an attempt to institute martial law, possibly in collusion with Wal-Mart.

[…]

At an information session in Bastrop on Monday, command spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria fielded questions about whether Jade Helm 15 will involve bringing foreign fighters from the Islamic State to Texas, whether U.S. troops will confiscate Texans’ guns and whether the Army intends to implement martial law, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

“It’s the same thing that happened in Nazi Germany: You get the people used to the troops on the street, the appearance of uniformed troops and the militarization of the police,” Bastrop resident Bob Wells told the Statesman after the meeting. “They’re gathering intelligence. That’s what they’re doing. And they’re moving logistics in place for martial law. That’s my feeling. Now, I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong. I hope I’m a ‘conspiracy theorist.’”

Is there anything funnier than a bunch of pants-wetting Teanuts, scared that Obummer is never going to leave the White House? Here’s the part I love: it’s all a big fat con-SPEAR-acy and you guys, Wal-mart is in on it!

Multiple Web sites of varying repute also drew a link between the operation and a recent Wal-Mart announcement the chain will be closing five stores, two of them in Texas.

“Are the closed Walmarts being activated as central command for underground operations?” read a headline on IntelliHub, which calls itself the “Civilian Intelligence Agency.”

Two Walmarts in Texas are closing? Well, that just proves it, then! Smoking guns, y’all!

It’s true: when you get to the far reaches of the right wing dial you meet up with the far reaches of the left wing dial. I distinctly remember in 2006 and 2007, far-lefties fearmongered that George W. Bush was going to declare martial law and never leave the White House. I remember some people pointing to the use of Blackwater security forces in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina as “training exercises” for the coming martial law.

There is one huge difference between left wing nutjobs fearmongering about Bush and Teanuts fearmongering about Obama. When the left did it, nobody paid attention. It happened off in some dark corner of the internet where those of us who noticed just laughed; the mainstream of America had no clue it was going on. There weren’t Washington Post and CBS Morning News stories about it. It wasn’t addressed at the daily White House press briefing.

And there certainly wasn’t a response by the governor of one of the country’s largest states. But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas National Guard to monitor the exercise. Hilarious.

I find that so interesting. When right-wingers needlessly crap their pants over some ludicrous conspiracy theory, everyone jumps to attention. When left-wingers do the same thing, no one even notices it. I don’t think it’s because right-wing freakouts are more legitimate than left-wing ones, I just think it’s a sign of how the Republican Party in general has been completely co-opted by the crazy train known as the Tea Party. Gov. Abbott is a Teanut, so of course when the Alex Jones set starts donning their tinfoil hats, he’s going to follow suit. And that gets the attention of the national news media.

It’s just another signal that one of our two major political parties in America is completely batshit insane.

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Filed under fear porn, Tea Party

Grifters Gotta Grift

For sale at the Rand Paul for President website:

spycam

Ha ha ha ha ha! Be the first to review this product … I dare you!

Gotta say, $15 seems awfully steep for something that a piece of electrical tape can do for 5 cents.

4 Comments

Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, conspiracy, fear porn, Libertarians, NSA, Rand Paul

And They Wonder Why We Laugh At Them

Trying hard not to laugh at the pants-wetters at Open Carry Texas who strutted around the state capitol in Austin over the weekend with their guns so they could whine about how THE MAN was hassling them because of their long hair big guns and nobody loves them or the Second Amendment or appreciates their service to humanity by walking around armed. Meanwhile they are apparently terrified of a homeless man with a garden trowel.

I mean, my first thought was that this was a parody. But it appears to be real. SO, kiddos, read, laugh, weep, etc.:

I was approached by another participant at the rally and was informed that there was a homeless man (who seemed to be mentally unstable) walking around waving what appeared to be a knife in people’s faces. While walking back and forth in front of our merchandise stand, he had somehow obtained one of our OCT hats that we hadn’t sold to him. I was told that he was heading up towards the main rally on the south steps of the Capitol. The potential weapon in his hand had a serrated edge on one side.

I told a couple of the closest DPS troopers (they stayed about 30 feet or so away from us) that we had a potential problem. I started approaching them to describe the man and why he might be a threat. I had forgotten that I had my AR-15 on my back (I was wearing body armor and couldn’t feel the rifle against my body), and instead of listening to me tell them there was a potential threat, several troopers began yelling at me to take my weapon off of the capitol grounds. Bear in mind, every single one of those troopers knows who I am, just as they know who Terry is.

You had forgotten you had an AR-15 on your back because of your body armor? Dude. You’re an idiot. But I digress:

I apologized and walked the less than ten feet back inside of the gate. I then asked them to come closer because we had an issue, but they chose to just stand there staring at me. I told them there was a potentially dangerous man at the rally, and that they needed to find him before someone got hurt. They continued to gawk at me. I finally demanded that they find someone else to come speak with me, and that every second they were wasting ignoring my warning, someone could be in danger. One of the troopers finally began be-bopping north towards another group of troopers who appeared to be supervisors.

I couldn’t stand it any longer. I handed a friend my rifle and went in yelling about the lack of urgency displayed by these troopers who were supposed to be keeping us safe, but were ignoring my warning solely because they don’t like us, particularly me. I quickly walked past them and yelled that if anyone was hurt, THEY all have blood on their hands!

A few of us got to the rally on the south steps and began frantically scanning the crowd. We were looking for a man with a camouflage OCT hat, jeans, and not wearing shoes. By this time, a DPS trooper decided I probably wasn’t exaggerating and asked who we were looking for, joining in the hunt.

After several minutes of searching through the mass of people, a trooper informed me that the potential threat had been located and escorted off the grounds. The “weapon” he was holding was a small gardening trowel similar to this:

trowel

Before returning to the armed rally, I thanked him for helping and explained how unprofessional it was that his troopers completely ignored a legitimate complaint.

So the guy in body armor with an AR-15 strapped to his back is running around frantically trying to warn state police about a potential threat to public safety: a homeless guy with a garden trowel. And he tells this story as if it were completely logical, not the utterly massive FAIL any sane person would see it to be?

Right. And they wonder why we laugh at them?

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Filed under fear, fear porn, gun control, gun violence, Texas

State Of Hate

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says hate crimes in the state took an alarming 51% jump in 2011 over the year before. The AP reports:

Hate crimes recorded in 2011 include 71 cases of vandalism, 60 cases of intimidation and 52 cases of simple assault.

Amazingly, no one seems to know why! I would be guessing, but I think a steady stream of hate rhetoric from people in authority blaming everyone from gays to Muslims to immigrants to the President of the United States for what ails us has played its part.

The left has its share of scare tactics but they are nothing like the steady drumbeat of alarm coming from the right. I guess it’s effective, scaring people into the voting booth and frightening them into the John Birch Society. Personally, I don’t get it.

There’s a Teanut who lives down the street from us who has actually put surveillance cameras around his house. Now, who knows, maybe there’s a good reason for this, maybe he’s got a stalker problem. But I’m going to guess he’s just had the crap scared out of him by talk radio and people like Ron Ramsey claiming Islam is a cult and state legislators pushing United Nations conspiracy theories. I guess when that black helicopter lands in our front yards, he’ll be the first one to know.

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Filed under fear porn, Tennessee

Black People Are Scary

People keep telling me to stop trying to understand conservatives, but I can’t help myself. If they make sense to themselves, then really we should try to understand where they’re coming from. We don’t have to agree but for God’s sake let’s at least make the effort.

But I just haven’t been able to understand the reflexive defense of George Zimmerman from the right wing. What exactly are they defending here? Is it the NRA-guns thing? The “we don’t believe racism exists” thing? What are they defending when they rally around a guy who shot and killed a teenager? What is going on here?

It’s truly something to behold, these attacks on a 17 year old kid, and while I can maybe understand why they’d attack Sandra Fluke or someone else who came out in support of a hated Obama Administration policy, that’s not the case here. Trayvon Martin was a kid in his neighborhood coming home from the store. So all of this “he deserved to die” stuff puzzles me. Is it because hated figures like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are involved now? If those guys say the sky is blue then conservatives know it must be green?

The funniest thing has been the “revelation” that George Zimmerman registered to vote as a Democrat in 2002 (I’m not going to link to those sites, but you can Google it if you’re interested). A-HA! That proves …. what, exactly? That he was justified in shooting Martin? That he wasn’t a racist who immediately assumed a black kid was up to no good? That “stand your ground” laws aren’t dangerous? It means none of those things. What it does show us is that the right wing’s perspective is completely clouded by their hyper-partisanship and also that they assume everyone views the world through the same hyper-partisan lens. But no one ever said George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin because Zimmerman was a Republican. Yet that’s what right-wing bloggers and pundits seem to have heard. I just find that truly bizarre. I really want to understand what’s going on here.

Max Read put it really well in his column “Your Guide to the Idiotic Racist Backlash Against Trayvon Martin”:

That right-wing cranks, caught in the storm of their own horseshit, would be unable to distinguish between “being 17” and “being a criminal” isn’t particularly shocking (to most of them, there is no distinction). It’s embarrassing for a theoretically respectable site like Yahoo! to provide cover for clearinghouses like Drudge with equivocating articles that worry about “the difference between the typical teenager Martin’s family and supporters say he was and the way he presented himself on social media” and quote the “we don’t know what happened” hems and “it’s complicated” haws of Business Insider’s Michael Brendan Dougherty and PolicyMic.com’s David Shane.

But mainstream and gutter are both running from the same source: an anxiety about young black men. That’s why it doesn’t matter that Martin’s suspensions are completely irrelevant to the case, and it’s why there’s a push to sidestep the specifics of the encounter in favor of interrogating Martin’s character.

As Read pointed out, this reached its zenith when Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera told black kids to stop wearing hoodies. What he was really saying was, “stop being so scary.” That a teenager carrying Skittles and iced tea could justifiably be viewed as scary indicates the problem might lie with white folks’ irrational fear, but there it is. And surely there can be nothing scarier to conservatives than seeing hundreds and even thousands of predominantly black faces rallying in the streets demanding justice. That has got to be really scary for these folks, hiting them on a visceral level and harkening back to the race riots of the ’60s. White people scare really easily, it seems to me, which is why it’s such an effective political tool, and has been for decades.

This also reminds me of the question we all asked in 2010, the summer of crazy: “What If The Tea Party Was Black”? Walking around with guns and threatening signs, vowing to overthrow the establishment, what then?

I think the hidden message of the conservative attacks on Trayvon Martin really has its roots in this: black people are scary and white people are justified in being afraid. They are defending fear. This is a very useful message because scared people can be easily manipulated into doing all sorts of things in the service of their rulers. This is a truth as old as Plato and it will never change.

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Filed under conservative bloggers, conservatives, fear, fear porn, racism

I’m Living In A Bugs Bunny Cartoon

Seriously, Metro Fire Department? You closed West End Avenue for an entire hour because of this?

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A heavily traveled road was closed after a bomb scare near Vanderbilt University Saturday afternoon. A suspicious package was the source of the trouble after firefighters responded to a call about smoke in the Caterpillar building.

While the crews were trying to find out where the smoke was coming from, they came across a container that had the word “bomb” written on it. As an immediate precaution, firefighters evacuated the building.

They also blocked off West End Avenue between 20th and 21st streets. After speaking with the Vice President of Caterpillar, crews learned that the company had run a bomb exercise two weeks ago, and that container that had the word “bomb” on it, was actually a prop that had not been removed.

This has got to be the lamest “bomb scare” ever. Memo to NewsChannel5: this is not a “bomb scare,” this is a stupidity scare.

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Filed under fear porn, Nashville

>Where’s The Osama Bin Laden Tape?

>Because with crap like this, you know that’s exactly where we’re headed:

Finally, a patriot has cracked that dastardly Obama’s secret code!

I mean, it’s really a shame the Republicans don’t have the White House any more and can’t gin up any pre-election “terra terra terra” fear porn. Poor dears. Ginning up anti-Muslim fear is the next best thing, especially when the president of the United States is a Muslim!!!11!!!11!!! ZOMG!!!!

How awfully inventive. Transparent, but inventive.

As Frank Rich observed yesterday, the whole Park51 fauxtroversy is so obviously manufactured, the only thing more appalling is that so few media figures have hit the LexisNexis data base to begin with (and Rich gives proper credit where it’s due to Salon.com’s Justin Elliott for doing just that).

One wonders why CNN or The Today Show or Brian Williams or anyone else on the TeeVee hasn’t reported any of these facts which Rich mentions in his column:

In the five months after The Times’s initial account there were no newspaper articles on the project at all. It was only in May of this year that the Rupert Murdoch axis of demagoguery revved up, jettisoning Ingraham’s benign take for a New York Post jihad. The paper’s inspiration was a rabidly anti-Islam blogger best known for claiming that Obama was Malcolm X’s illegitimate son. Soon the rest of the Murdoch empire and its political allies piled on, promoting the incendiary libel that the “radical Islamists” behind the “ground zero mosque” were tantamount either to neo-Nazis in Skokie (according to a Wall Street Journal columnist) or actual Nazis (per Newt Gingrich).

These patriots have never attacked the routine Muslim worship services at another site of the 9/11 attacks, the Pentagon. Their sudden concern for ground zero is suspect to those of us who actually live in New York. All but 12 Republicans in the House voted against health benefits for 9/11 responders just last month. Though many of these ground-zero watchdogs partied at the 2004 G.O.P. convention in New York exploiting 9/11, none of them protested that a fellow Republican, the former New York governor George Pataki, so bollixed up the management of the World Trade Center site that nine years on it still lacks any finished buildings, let alone a permanent memorial.

(By Ingraham he does indeed mean Laura Ingraham. You can watch said “benign take” here.) The controversy started with Murdoch’s propaganda outfit? I’m shocked! CNN and the rest of the media simply repeat the Republican Party talking points? Still shocked! No, I’m not, actually. It was to be expected, because we have an election in a few months and this shit happens every time we have an election in a few months.

So now we have anti-Muslim fear suddenly front page news all across the nation. What a coinky-dinky that we also suddenly have that tired, oft-debunked “Obama is a Muslim” story also suddenly front page news all across the nation.

And I’m sure in a few weeks we’ll have “rumors” of some kind of Al Qaeda/Osama Bin Laden tape which Jerome Corsi suddenly found in a dark cave somewhere. Right next to Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate, of course.

Because there’s one thing I know about the Republican Party: they love to recycle old ideas. Scaring the pants off of people has been their winning strategy for years. So we have “Muslims are scary” and “Obama is a Muslim.” All we need to wrap this package up with a bow is “… and they want to kill you, SEE?”

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Filed under fear porn, terrorism

>Why Is This Man On My TV?

>Why is Ben Venzke, CEO of Intelcenter, on my TV again? Oh that’s easy: I’m watching CBS’ “coverage” of the new (alleged) Osama bin Laden tape.

I’m trying to figure out why, whenever OBL supposedly rears his head, CBS News runs to Venzke for comment. Here’s Venzke’s latest CBS moment, which was sent around the U.S. to local CBS affiliates in a news package. Although the piece came from CBS News’ London correspondent Mark Phillips last week, I caught it on NewsChannel5 (WTVF) this morning:

Bin Laden’s audio message, one of more than 30 since al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks, comes at a time of heightened security in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. What is particularly troubling for analysts is bin Laden’s use of language that preceded other attacks.

“Peace be upon those who follow the light of guidance,” bin Laden said in the tape.

“This phrase, which appears at the beginning and end of the message, only appears in bin Laden’s statements typically in messages that come in advance of an attack,” said Ben Venzke CEO of Intelcenter, a private contractor that works with counter-terrorism agencies. “This could be in the coming weeks or as far out as 12 or 14 weeks from now.”

Oh, well thanks for that insight (or should I say, incite?) At least CBS sorta identified Venzke’s company properly this time–I’ve seen reports going back a few years in which they refer to Intelsource as “an agency.”

They are not an “agency.” They are a military contractor. Like Halliburton, KBR, Xe (Blackwater), Boeing, Raytheon or any other military contractor. They have a contract with the Pentagon and they profit from our war on terror. They have a financial stake in scaring the crap out of people. So I’d say anything Venzke or Intelcenter has to say about Osama Bin Laden needs to be taken with that in mind and the news media should not use them as a source.

Unfortunately, it gets even worse for CBS News when you realize what the Pentagon contracts Intelsource to do. In fact, the Pentagon hires Intelsource to search for videos and other communications from terrorist groups–videos like this latest one of Osama bin Laden. Isn’t that interesting? So in other words, the Pentagon hires Intelsource to find videos of Osama bin Laden. Then when they find one, the CEO of the company which was hired to find the video in the first place goes onto the news to verify its authenticity.

Well isn’t that cozy. So, do we know that Venzke and Intelsource have ginned up phony terror videos which they then verified in their media appearances? Actually, it has been alleged by a few conspiracy-oriented blogs. I won’t link them, as I can’t vouch for these blogs. But there was one instance where an expert accused Intelsource of doctoring an OBL video it found and released (Venzke of course denied doing any such thing).

But all of that is beside the point. The issue is not whether Intelsource has behaved unethically, since we don’t know. The issue is that CBS News has provided a military contractor with the opportunity to do so. They should never have put their news division on such ethically shaky ground.

Could it get worse? Why yes, it can: I e-mailed my concerns to a NewsChannel5 anchor with whom I’m on friendly terms. I knew they did not generate the report but since that’s where I saw it, I asked them to pass my concerns along up the news division chain. My friend responded first with thanks that I’d call it to their attention, noting they were unaware of Venzke’s role as a military contractor.

But they then said there is nothing they can do about it because

quite frankly, it’s something that comes to us and we don’t have the resources all the time to catch that kind of thing.

Our broken news media: is feature, not bug.

I wonder if this is what Viacom intended of its news division. The Pentagon contracts with a company to find videos of terrorists and when that company finds them, the CEO gets to flaunt their authenticity on the news. No one is the wiser but we all stay very, very scared.

Mission accomplished.

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Filed under fear porn, media manipulation, military contractors, Osama bin Laden

>Fear de Siecle

>What were you doing 10 years ago this week?

I know what I was doing: I was waiting in line at the old Wild Oats on Belmont Blvd. (now a hipster furniture store), stuck behind the half dozen or so (mostly) senior citizens who were filling up two and three shopping carts full of 5-gallon water bottles.

People who had never before thought to schlep to the health food store for filtered water were so freaked out over Y2K that they set by several months’ supply of drinking water in anticipation of the Big Apocalypse. Those of us trying to fill up our usual one or two gallon jugs walked away empty 10 years ago this week: the Y2K freak-out brigade had shut down the machines.

This is how we ushered in the Oughts. On a wave of fear about the unknown, anticipating a failure of technology and our supporting systems. Our media told us nightly it all might–might–come crashing down as the clock turned, unleashing a cataclysmic chain of events that would forever alter how we live. The power grid would be history. Bank ATMs would shut down, stock markets would fail, airport control towers would go dark and planes would literally fall from the sky. Panic in the streets. No wonder Y2K Survival Guides were hot sellers.

And now here we are, 10 years after the fact, still in freak-out mode over a failure of technology and supporting systems as a wannabe terrorist tried to blow up his underpants and got taken down by a Dutch filmmaker sitting across the aisle. What a perfectly hilarious bookend to the Decade of Fear. In like a lion, out like a clown. Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

I think it’s pretty much universally agreed that the Oughts were the worst decade in anyone’s memory. Time Magazine called it “The Decade From Hell.” Frank Rich dubbed it the “flim-flam decade,” pointing out how we were bamboozled by Enron traders, warhawks and even celebrities who invariably were not what they were portrayed to be. ThinkProgress, God love ‘em, called it the “Decade of Bush.” In fact, there’s been a lot of attention on George W. Bush and 9/11, as if they were the sole reason for the decade’s suckitude. I think that gives them far too much credit.

Those folks are all missing something. The one thing that characterizes the Oughts was fear. We were sold fear going in, and we’re being sold fear going out. Going in it was Y2K and the Enron-created energy crisis and Chandra Levy and the “Summer of the shark”. And then 9/11 happened and it was a steady drum beat of terrorism-related fear like Saddam’s fantasy WMD and “duct tape and plastic sheeting,” punctuated by a few non-terrorism scary events like the Northeast’s grid collapse of 2003.

I don’t remember having the crap scared out of me with such regularity in all of my nearly 5 decades on this planet. And the one thing about being told “boo!” all the time is that it eventually stops working. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis I think we all pretty much decided that those politicized terror alerts we were getting from the Bush Administration couldn’t hold a candle to the very real scary stuff Mother Nature and our crumbling national infrastructure had in store.

So as the Oughts limp to a close and we’re given more “terror in the skies” headlines and U.S. Senators call for pre-emptive attacks and economists say we aren’t out of the recessionary woods yet and a sitting U.S. Congress person calls for revolution, I would just like to wave a hearty goodbye to the Decade of Fear.

Your suckitude knows no depths. Yes, some good things happened–some great things happened, personally. But I can’t close the book on this decade fast enough.

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Filed under fear porn

>Scary-Voiced Announcer Man

>If you have XM Satellite Radio like I do, then you’ve been hearing Scary-Voiced Announcer Man intoning about Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled.” The ads have been running a lot–a lot–to the point where I can’t listen to Lionel or Ed Schultz anymore, they are that annoying.

I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve heard the premise (Stein has been making the TV rounds) and it strikes me as the most ridiculous fake controversy I’ve ever heard. I can’t get worked up over the “injustice” of people peddling religion and fake science in schools being told they can’t by school administrators and school districts. Sorry, dude. I liked you better when you were challenging us to win your money.

Anyway, I think we’ve all heard enough of Scary-Voiced Announcer Man this campaign season. Which is what made this video so hilarious:

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Filed under fear, fear porn, XM Radio