Message added by william.scherk
Reading lists, go-to books, Amazon wishes, new on the block editions: MSK and William's recommended books about conspiracy theories ... make perfect Judeo-Christmas non-altruistic gifts! 'Tis the Season (of Reason). From the blurb of Suspicious Minds:

"We’re all conspiracy theorists. Some of us just hide it better than others.

Conspiracy theorists do not wear tin-foil hats (for the most part). They are not just a few kooks lurking on the paranoid fringes of society with bizarre ideas about shape-shifting reptilian aliens running society in secret. They walk among us. They are us. Everyone loves a good conspiracy. Yet conspiracy theories are not a recent invention. And they are not always a harmless curiosity. In Suspicious Minds, Rob Brotherton explores the history and consequences of conspiracism, and delves into the research that offers insights into why so many of us are drawn to implausible, unproven and un-provable conspiracy theories. They resonate with some of our brain’s built-in quirks and foibles, and tap into some of our deepest desires, fears, and assumptions about the world."

brothertonbook.png

 

Reading: "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories"


william.scherk

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I want to recommend a book I just started reading last night: "Suspicious Minds," by Rob Brotherton. As is usual, I read first the chapter that stuck out -- Chapter 5, The Paranoid Fringe. It takes a useful critical look at the seminal article by Richard Hofstadter -- "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" -- and also runs to ground a plausible origin of 'tinfoil hats.' 

The book is written in a wry conversational tone, and is not on the surface a ''scholarly" read thick with endless footnotes, but it also contains a very useful reference list by page number -- as well as a full index at the back.  (My copy is from our local library, but I am going to order it from Amazon so I always have it on hand as a reference book.)

Here is an excerpt from the first page that might whet OLer's appetite for more ...

Quote

allisnitasitseems.png

In a fit of recursion, I include this bit of commentary from earlier this month. It suggests that I am bound by ingrained prejudice/s, which may or may not be true ... yet leaves the door open to further friendly discussion.

On 10/15/2017 at 1:12 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

For those who still don't know how to process conspiracy theorists, I left the following comment over at William's blog the other day (see here). He didn't agree that it was a valid approach (it's hard to let go of a prejudice once ingrained :) ), but that is the way listening to conspiracy theorists works with people like me. And from the looks of things, it works that way with a shit-ton of people all over America.

-- for those who like to check out reviews before purchasing or borrowing from a library, here's a selection -- which I thought remarkable. Remarkable in the sense of "how many reviews do not mention Donald Trump?"

New York Times review by Adrian Chen
Inside Higher Education review by Scott McLemee
Brief Scientific American review by Maria Temming

-- for the benefit of Dear Leader, I found the book is available at his local library too!

MSKevanstonLibarySuspiciousMinds.png

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You are a Soy Boy, Mr Trump ...

On 7/8/2018 at 10:18 AM, william.scherk said:

Soya Farmers of America Unite! 

US soybean farmers warn Trump trade war with China will cause 'serious damage'

Quote

 

The American Soybean Association (ASA) said in a statement that soybean farmers “rely heavily” on exports to China, and said that they lobbied Trump to reconsider the tariffs.

John Heisdorffer, an Iowa soybean farmer and president of the ASA, warned of the impact of the tariffs on farmers.

U.S. Soybean Prices Crumble as Trade War Sparks Brazil Rally

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The unusual situation revealed by Fake News is spreading ... One Step Beyond.

NEWS / DEBUNKED
How YouTube Bolstered Another Baseless Conspiracy Theory About Pedophile Rings

Quote

The ever-growing QAnon conspiracy theory got a big boost from YouTube this week. [...]

Posted on July 30, 2018, at 6:13 p.m. ET

A baseless conspiracy theory once again shot to prominence on YouTube this week with top search results for “Tom Hanks” including several videos accusing the actor of being a pedophile.

Hanks is the latest target in the ever-growing QAnon conspiracy theory, which posits that powerful figures in government and in the entertainment industry are involved in an array of horrific crimes, including the ritualistic sex abuse of children. One of the YouTube videos about Hanks, which connects him to a “deep state” effort to undermine President Donald Trump, has been viewed more than 280,000 times in less than a week.

A search for Cemex, a Mexican construction company, also returned several results linking the company to pedophilia based on a discredited conspiracy theory about a “child sex camp” in Arizona.

The search results were first highlighted by NBC News reporter Ben Collins.

 

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On 7/11/2018 at 1:09 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

William,

Are you sure?

07.11.2018-12.08.png

:)

Michael

Is that Trump eating pizza?

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30 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

Is that Trump eating pizza?

Korben,

Imagine that.

Without metaphorical walnut sauce and hotdogs, too.

It's hard to believe, but some people actually think pizza is food and treat it that way.

:evil: 

Michael

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2 hours ago, william.scherk said:

NEWS / DEBUNKED

William,

This with a Buzzfeed article?

LOL...

Jeez...

Such cognitive dissonance.

It's like seeing a naked midget basketball team wearing roller skates and doing a porn film with geese. Then asking, "Who won?"

:) 

Michael

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Something something suspicion Fake News 'Muh Russia' ... what is an Objectivist response to this story just published by Murray Waas in the New York Review of Books?  

Flynn, Comey, and Mueller: What Trump Knew and When He Knew It
 

Quote

[...]

It’s not enough to prove that the person under investigation attempted to impede an ongoing criminal investigation; the statute requires a prosecutor to prove that the person did so with the corrupt intent to protect either himself or someone else from prosecution. 

If, therefore, Trump understood the legal jeopardy that Flynn faced, that would demonstrate such intent—and make for a much stronger case for obstruction against the president. Conversely, if Trump believed that Flynn was no longer under criminal investigation, or had been cleared, the president could not have had corrupt intent. But previously undisclosed evidence indicates just the opposite—that President Trump was fully informed that Flynn was the target of prosecutors.

I have learned that a confidential White House memorandum, which is in the special counsel’s possession, explicitly states that when Trump pressured Comey he had just been told by two of his top aides—his then chief of staff Reince Priebus and his White House counsel Don McGahn—that Flynn was under criminal investigation. This memo, the existence of which I first disclosed in December in Foreign Policy, was, as one source described it to me, “a timeline of events [in the White House] leading up to Flynn’s resignation.” It was dated February 15, 2017, and was prepared by McGahn two days after Flynn’s forced resignation and one day after Trump’s meeting with Comey. As I reported, research for the memo was “primarily conducted by John Eisenberg, the deputy counsel to the president and legal adviser to the National Security Council,” who, in turn, was “assisted by James Burnham, another White House counsel staff member.” 

During my reporting, I was allowed to read the memo in its entirety, as well as other, underlying White House records quoted in the memo, such as notes and memos written by McGahn and other senior administration officials. My reporting for this story is also based on interviews with a dozen former and current White House officials, attorneys who have interacted with Mueller’s team of investigators, and witnesses questioned by Mueller’s investigators.

[...]

Later that same day, McGahn briefed the president about what he had learned from Yates, according to confidential White House records and interviews. McGahn apparently made no contemporaneous notes of what he told the president. Reince Priebus was also present for this briefing, according to the same records. The McGahn timeline demonstrates that President Trump was clearly informed during that meeting that Flynn was under criminal investigation by the FBI. Trump directed McGahn to find out more, including any information about the criminal investigation of Flynn, before deciding on a course of action. The McGahn timeline recounts: “Part of [our] concern was a recognition by McGahn that it was unclear from the meeting with Yates whether or not an action could be taken without jeopardizing an ongoing investigation.”

A person with first-hand knowledge told me that during interviews with the special counsel, both McGahn and Priebus confirmed that they had informed Trump during this meeting that Flynn was being investigated by the FBI. Further, according to three current and former administration officials, McGahn also relayed to President Trump that Flynn had told the FBI the same false story he’d earlier told Pence (that Flynn had never spoken to Kislyak about sanctions). Because Trump and McGahn knew of Flynn’s misstatements to the FBI, they would have understood the legal jeopardy Flynn was in: it is a felony to lie to the FBI—precisely the federal criminal charge Flynn would later plead guilty to. 

 

"Lock her up!" cried General Flynn. Lock her up.

Meanwhile, Paul Manafort may be ruing the day he rejected combining his two trials.  Jury is now selected, so I expect a part of the Fake News Blob will be headlining the trial and desperately trying to get us to pay attention.  

Serenity now, magnesium oil later:

 

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"Tom Hanks is a Pedophile" ... Naked Midget News Sez

25 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

a naked midget basketball team wearing roller skates and doing a porn film with geese.

Oh. Hmmm.  "A baseless conspiracy theory once again shot to prominence on YouTube this week with top search results for “Tom Hanks” including several videos accusing the actor of being a pedophile."  No mention of midget basketball ... but Fake Analogies Rool!

Quote

Then asking, "Who won?"

I won this fifth round hands down, and I am not the only one. A lot of people are saying "If you don't know what the 'Enemy of the People' are claiming, then you will be left behind in the Civil War."

tomHanksPedophile.png

Edited by william.scherk
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1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

"Tom Hanks is a Pedophile" ... Naked Midget News Sez

I'm not following. What's the point? Is it that we're supposed to be worked up about lies about Tom Hanks, but not about Trump? It's horrible for people to believe false reports that Hanks is a pedophile, but it's perfectly acceptable to believe reports that Trump hates immigrants, is a racist, mocks handicapped people's handicaps, etc.?

J

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1 hour ago, Jonathan said:

I'm not following. What's the point? Is it that we're supposed to be worked up about lies about Tom Hanks, but not about Trump? It's horrible for people to believe false reports that Hanks is a pedophile, but it's perfectly acceptable to believe reports that Trump hates immigrants, is a racist, mocks handicapped people's handicaps, etc.?

Jonathan,

Unfortunately, if you ask questions about leftist idols, you will be accused. Trump supporters have brushed off the attacks on him and the ignorance about his many achievements because they are so frequent, they're generally stupid, etc. The people who attack like this are not used to getting hit back, so they make it all about the side you are on and your demeanor, not about the ideas being questioned.

Musn't look at those ideas, no siree...

However, I asked a question above and I think it demands a serious answer.

3 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Such cognitive dissonance.

It's like seeing a naked midget basketball team wearing roller skates and doing a porn film with geese. Then asking, "Who won?"

Let me resolve the cognitive dissonance. Imagine the situation I gave as a metaphor for the mentality of anti-Trumpers. God knows what I have seen so far out of them, it sure feels that surreal, geese honking and everything. :)  (I trust no anti-Trumper will chide me for the foul part of the image after all the vicious obscene bile they have aimed at people like me, not to mention the baseball bats wielded by hooded thugs.)

But then, we have to wait until November to see who won.

Spoiler alert!

I know who will win and it won't be metaphorical.

:) 

Michael

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Bill..the aliens among us are notttt reptilian, they are amphibious!  Gawd, get your facts straight! 

?

  • Like 1
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52 minutes ago, Jules Troy said:

Bill..the aliens among us are notttt reptilian, they are amphibious!  Gawd, get your facts straight! 

?

Just do not start accusing the geese! Some of us do not forget!

#stop the Avian Order #justice for Thomas

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4 hours ago, Jonathan said:

I'm not following. What's the point? Is it that we're supposed to be worked up about lies about Tom Hanks, but not about Trump? It's horrible for people to believe false reports that Hanks is a pedophile, but it's perfectly acceptable to believe reports that Trump hates immigrants, is a racist, mocks handicapped people's handicaps, etc.?

J

I just read this again.  Surely you saw Trump mocking a handicapped reporter- it was a big hit with his audience, maybe helped get him elected - or  call Mexicans rapists?  These were the takeaways from  his tweets and sound bites we all saw before his election and after. He has never apologized for them. The implications are pretty clear. They are not "reports"but his own words. 

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15 hours ago, caroljane said:

We do get it, you know J, your point, your one and only point these days. 

It is only acceptable to be outraged about lies, slurs or disrespect of Trump. or his favoured few at the time.  Everyone else can be trashed and ridiculed - war heroes, Gold Star mothers,ex-presidents, honoured public servants. dead elementary school students and their classmates who mourn them, everyone except Donald J. Trump. They can be lied about and ridiculed but it would be unpatriotic to care about them.They are probably not real people at all, just Deep State fantasies fuelled by the fake media.

God save America from such greatness.

 

 

You're lying, Carol. Either that, or your TDS is kicking in again, and you can't distinguish between what actually happened and what you merely emotionally and mistakenly inferred. No one has trashed and ridiculed war heroes, Gold Star mothers, dead elementary school students and their classmates.

Rather, what has happened is that people no longer allow those people to use their status as heroes, mothers of heroes, or victims of violence to silence any and all criticism. "You oppose my demands for gun control? Well, then you're trashing and ridiculing me and laughing at the deaths of my classmates!" That's just dishonest as hell, and no one's falling for it anymore, or caving in to it. That's what's upsetting you, isn't it? The fact that the ploy isn't working anymore?

It's a really lame tactic. "You oppose murder? Oh, wait, here's someone from a different race who is in favor of murder. Therefore you oppose this person of a different race! Racist!"

Come on, Carol, you're better than that. Or at least you used to be. The ploy that you're using was highlighted in the movie "Animal House." Heh. Look it up on vid. Deltas on trial: "We're not going to sit here and let you badmouth the United States of America!"

Try honesty, Carol. Making stuff up about others via inferring wrongheaded nonsense due to TDS isn't working.

J

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13 hours ago, caroljane said:

I just read this again.  Surely you saw Trump mocking a handicapped reporter- it was a big hit with his audience, maybe helped get him elected...

No. Trump mocked a reporter for his views and for his political activism, and the physical expression that Trump was using to mock that reporter was the same one that he used, in the exact same speech, to mock a military general: It was a physical representation of panic and frustration, not of physical deformity or disability. He's done the same expression many times. He did it about Cruz, about bank regulators, and others. There are even tapes of him having done the gesture as far back as 2002 to represent panic and frustration. Only when he did it about a reporter, whose physical motions due to his disability do not resemble Trump's impression of panic, did the left jump on it, after realizing that they could twist it to use it against Trump.

And you either naively fell for it, or you know better and are being dishonest again. You're using a disability as a political weapon to try to smear people. Hateful shit, Carol. You're not being a good person.

13 hours ago, caroljane said:

...it was a big hit with his audience, maybe helped get him elected...

You're lying. What was a big hit with Trump's audience was the content of Trump's criticism of the reporter's political activism, and of his mocking the reporter's panic and frustration at being called out by Trump. You're really being dishonest, Carol. Trump's audience at the time had no idea who this reporter was. They had no idea that he had a physical disability. They did not think that Trump was making fun of a disability, and he wasn't, just as he wasn't making fun of a disability when he used exactly the same gesture to mock Ted Cruz, bank regulators and a military general. You're anachronistically projecting your hateful misinterpretation onto other people, and assigning them mindsets and motives so that you can justify your hatred.

13 hours ago, caroljane said:

...or  call Mexicans rapists?

He didn't call all Mexicans rapists. You know better. He merely pointed out that some of the people who cross the border are serious criminals, just as many politicians from both parties have done, including Obama and the Clintons. Trump has said that he loves the Mexican people, and that most are good. That fact doesn't matter to you, though, does it? You want to believe what you want to believe. You want to hate. So you infer what you want to infer, and willfully ignore the rest.

Trump also said that MS-13 members were animals, and the activist lying press claimed that he said that all immigrants were animals. Haters, just like you.

J

  • Like 1
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15 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jonathan,

Unfortunately, if you ask questions about leftist idols, you will be accused. Trump supporters have brushed off the attacks on him and the ignorance about his many achievements because they are so frequent, they're generally stupid, etc. The people who attack like this are not used to getting hit back, so they make it all about the side you are on and your demeanor, not about the ideas being questioned.

Musn't look at those ideas, no siree...

However, I asked a question above and I think it demands a serious answer.

Let me resolve the cognitive dissonance. Imagine the situation I gave as a metaphor for the mentality of anti-Trumpers. God knows what I have seen so far out of them, it sure feels that surreal, geese honking and everything. :)  (I trust no anti-Trumper will chide me for the foul part of the image after all the vicious obscene bile they have aimed at people like me, not to mention the baseball bats wielded by hooded thugs.)

But then, we have to wait until November to see who won.

Spoiler alert!

I know who will win and it won't be metaphorical.

:) 

Michael

Ah, now I see where Billy got his tee hee hee quote about midget basketball.

Anyway, yeah, I think you're right about lefties not being used to getting hit back. Heh. They really don't know what to do. And they still haven't adapted. We're explaining to them that we understand their entire playbook, that we know how to defend against it and shut them down, and then they kind of nod, call the same play right up the middle, and lose another five yards.

Fun to watch.

J

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Hahaha.

What's a featured comment, and how does it become featured?

I was scrolling though the thread above and spotted the special header bar and star in the upper right corner of one of Carol's posts.

Hmmm. We're in Billy's blog, no? So, does that mean that Billy "featured" Carol's post? If so, that seems to suggest that he found her lies and falsehoods and misinterpretations to be quite thrilling?

 "Oh my God, did you hear that Trump and his supporters laughed at the kids being shot? Yeah, they said that they love it when kids die! They admitted it. I heard them admit it."

^FEATURED!!!! MUST READ!!!! IMPORTANT NON-FAKE INFORMATION!!!

Heh.

 

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4 hours ago, Jonathan said:

Ah, now I see where Billy got his tee hee hee quote about midget basketball.

Jonathan,

Of course my metaphor was not something real.

Here is something real. The following is an actual anti-Trump mentality in writing from a professional anti-Trumper. And, of course, it's sanctimonious. I mean, what would an apology be from an anti-Trumper without smothering it in sanctimoniousness?

Let's start here (from Breitbart):

Politico’s Marc Caputo Mocks Trump Rally Attendees: Toothless ‘Garbage People’

The story is that Caputo saw people chanting "CNN Sucks!" to heckle Jim Acosta during a live CNN broadcast segment and mouthed off in a couple of tweets. He said in one tweet: "If you put everyone's mouths together in this video, you'd get a full set of teeth." And in another tweet: "Oh, no! I made fun of garbage people jeering at another person as they falsely accused him of lying and flipped him off. Someone fetch a fainting couch."

Then he deleted the tweets after the rage of the Twitter-sphere descended on his head, even from people on his own side. They know what happens when you insult the majority of the motivated voting block.

So instead of saying, "Sorry, that was stupid of me, I'm embarrassed," and move on, what does he do?

Seriously, you can't make this up. It's even worse than when a fundy Objectivist apologizes (which gets so hilarious, you eventually laugh out and feel sorry for the dude :) ).

Here are his three tweets.

and

and

In other words, 

Let me translate these tweets.

1/3 - I want to look like I am apologizing because I need to virtue signal that I am a Superior Human. So I say the fault is all mine. But it's really the fault of all those haters who made me do it. Hate begets hate, after all. By the way, I was only referring to the toothless garbage people in the shot, not all those other toothless garbage people who support Trump.

2/3 - Furthermore, let me show how my lapse highlights how screwed up you all are. I'm truly sorry you people are so inferior, hateful and screwed up.

3/3 - People need to delete tweets before they get caught. After they get caught, they can virtue signal like me by posting screenshots of the tweets they deleted and hold themselves up as a good example of being honest. Don't forget to include a repeteco of the token apology and say you'll do better, of course. But that's only for show.

In my mind, I can't conceive of how this makes any sense. I mean, why do it? Not even Caputo's leftie team, the target of his virtue signaling, believes this bullshit. He's not fooling anybody and he's not providing any information. Everybody knows he still thinks Trump supporters are white trash.

Frankly, it makes more cognitive sense to imagine a naked midget basketball team wearing roller skates and doing a porn film with geese, then asking, "Who won?" 

At least there are images--imaginary images, but still images--to pin the abstractions to.

:) 

(Sorry. I know this is tasteless, but I'm in a naughty mood and I want to poke at the pedophile-excusers. :evil:  :) )

Caputo's mind, as expressed in these tweets, is cognitive mush. There's nothing in reality, or even fantasy, to pin anything to. There's not even a solid flip-flop. The only reality message I get from his words is, "I do not accept losing my standing as a Superior Human over this."

Well... the superior human part bears no relation to reality, but neither does a midget basketball team. :) 

Michael

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Toothless garbage people. They used to be the salt of the Earth, the honorable working man, the blue collar hero, the underdog, the common folk who were the heart and soul of the Democratic party. The Dems shafted them. So they left. And now we see what the Dems always thought of them.

Not only that, but now the entire Republican party is defined by the characteristics of the "garbage" that abandoned the Dems. The whole party now is undereducated, toothless trash. They don't know their heads from their asses, and are politically gullible and naive. They're stupid, and don't know how to vote for what's best for them. They became that in one election cycle.

Pretty revealing attitudes.

J

  • Like 1
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10 hours ago, Jonathan said:

 

 No one has trashed and ridiculed war heroes, Gold Star mothers, dead elementary school students and their classmates

 

No one except Trump , who is amply documented for saying those things as have his spokespeopl;e, in his name.

.That's it for now,  but not to worry, I'm sure more enthusiastic Trump corroborators will be along soon..

 

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4 hours ago, caroljane said:

... I'm sure more enthusiastic Trump corroborators will be along soon..

Carol,

I've noticed that bubble people have a weird optic about Trump supporters. And maybe this is due to bubbles inherently being distortion lenses.

When it comes to talking about polls, blue waves, etc., the bubble people think there are simply not that many Trump supporters, especially not among decent people, intelligent and educated people, women, talented folks, black, latinos, gays, and so on.

But when it comes to white trash, which the bubble people use as a synonym for Trump supporters, the bubble people think the country is overrun with them and they are--through votes--destroying all that is worth living for.

It's a weird kind of logic where the numbers of Trump supporters supposedly and metaphysically expand and diminish depending on the topic.

Is this accordion activism?

:) 

Michael

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