Labels

Monday, August 13, 2018

Untie The Right

Yes, (sigh) you did read that correctly.

Jason Kessler, the organizer of the deadly Charlottesville VA Unite The Right rally last year, came to DC for Part 2. We got to see him waddling around in his suit with about 25 guys also coming to spread the word of White Power. To say that it was a bust is pretty clear. The best he did was get to spew his philosophy in a willing NPR interview which was rightly panned.

Any Thoughts?

The people who monitor this stuff agree: the failure of the Unite The Right 2 rally is not indicative of the White Power movement as a whole--yes: they have suffered setbacks--but Kessler (a) burnt a lot of bridges in the movement and (b) big names like Richard Spencer were saying "Don't Go."

When power-nazi Spencer bails on you, you're kind of fucked. The turn out for the nazish Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer movement in Seattle the week before got around 400 people so clearly these crowds can come. They just didn't here.

More importantly though, we need to be clear on a few things.

1. Antifa Made A Mess Of Themselves

Right now The Omnivore avers that the White Power guys are going over the after-action notes and coming to the conclusion that if you get a bunch of Antifa and Police together you get a nice, tasty, anti-police riot. This will not be lost on them--look for them to encourage this with willing angry lefties attacking journalists and chanting anti-cop slogans (and anti-white, western, whatever). This is gold for the White Nationalist movements and they will dig for it.

Observation: A Win for The Nazis

2. Unite The Right I Was a Disaster For The Movement. UTR II Was For Kessler

Kessler was always a loser and now he's a major league loser. The one thing these guys can't stand is looking humiliated. It may not destroy them--but it sure hurts. In a clamor for recognition and respect, if you make your case and wind up looking like a crybaby it's not the emotional charge that will draw people to your movement (The Omnivore wants to know what the Crying Nazi is up to these days).

This might well be the end of Kessler as a leader (he was already hurting). The other thing to keep remembering was that the murder at UTR I got these guys kicked off electronic payment platforms. That hurt more than any think-piece The New Yorker ran. Keep focused on that.

3. Antifa Kinda Works

The majority of Antifa isn't throwing rocks at cops or chanting stupid slogans--it's outing Nazis to their friends, families, and employers. This year a bunch of the nazis showed up covering their faces (like Antifa--who is afraid they'll be killed by nazis if doxed). This is good: one thing that everyone learned from the Klan was that it's scary not to show your face and look like a terrorist--and if you want to recruit people and mainstream yourself, you don't want to look scary.

Spencer was pretty effective--until he got punched in the jaw. Kessler gave good radio--and looks dorky but not scary in a suit. Neither of them are getting a job in normal-world any time soon. The forcing of these guys to cover up in public is effective at harming them. Punching Spencer--which was part of what led to his hanging up the lecture circuit--was, you know, effective.

Conclusions

The failure of UTR II will be a learning experience for everyone. It's not evidence that the movement has dried up--just that it needs to evolve. New leaders will emerge. Things will change. It is hard to draw too much inference from this one point--so don't let anyone tell you that it's all over now--but definitely understand that taking lessons from this is important to both sides. The nazis definitely are.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Great Deplatforming

We are on the eve of the nazi-twitter-alternative Gab.ai being shut down by Microsoft because their tweets call for death-by-torture and extermination of Jews (among many, many other things). This comes on the heels of Alex Jones being summarily booted off of numerous distribution sites.

This morning, Jason Kessler--the racist organizer of the violent Unite the Right rally (and its followup scheduled for this weekend in Washington DC) scored an interview with NPR--and while the host laughed at him, a lot of people were upset he even got on.

What's This all About?

Deplatforming is the term for removing the ability--or platform--for a speaker to speak. That is: you don't let the right-wing guy who was invited to your campus give his speech because you riot in the student parking lot and the ensuing security condition shuts down the whole event. That's the traditional version anyway (it could also be constant heckling from the audience).

The more modern context is right-wing people and organizations such as Alex Jones and various naziriffic alt-righty types--getting kicked off of electronic payment platforms like PayPal. This, it turns out, does a hell of a lot more damage.

It has also upset the less extreme right--who feel their--erm--champions--are being attacked by the politically leftist big-tech companies!*
Here is the eternally hysterical AF Branco explaining that Google, Twitter, Facebook, and . . . (well, it's supposed to be Apple but who knows) are just like Antifa--and that their right to their platforms is just like violent rioting.

Presumably Branco believes that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax and 9/11 was an inside job.

What Does The Omnivore Think?

The Omnivore is more kind than you might expect to the position that these big online networks represent a kind of "universal town square" where one might reasonably expect free speech. That said, being "kind to it"--that is, seeing some ways a reasonable person could reach that conclusion--does not mean The Omnivore is persuaded by it. In fact, the opposite: a good look at what is going on here convinces The Omnivore more than ever, that not-giving-these-guys-a-platform is a massive social good.

Hitler and the Public Address System

The creator of the Public Address system felt guilt for allowing Hitler to use it to reach massive in-person crowds. This was new, at the time, and Hitler's use of radio was already understood--but his ability to hold truly massive rallies was something that helped his rise-to-power. The Omnivore expects a little bit of that is probably going on within the tech-world of Twitter, Facebook, and so on.
This Is Not Possible Without a PA System
The Endgame--What Should We Do With This "Speech"

The Omnivore listened to most of the Jason Kessler NPR interview and has seen a suggestion that Ben Shapiro, enfant terrible of the verbally combative right, issue a challenge for debate against against one of these white supremacists (he wants to debate the young socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a debate which he'd probably "win.").

Should we debate them? One of the reasons that Alex Jones is still on Twitter is because Twitter's CEO thinks that it's the job of reporters to "debunk" Jones' ludicrous claims. Isn't this the age-old: the answer to bad speech is just MORE speech?

An Exploit That Is Hard To Fix

In some of the earlier 1-on-1 video fighting games there were moves a character could do that, if just done over and over, would always win. When you saw the champions of these games play each other, it was always the same character, doing the same move. This hole in a game is referred to as an exploit or degenerate strategy.

In the politics of online recruiting and modern debate, we have the same issue: the racist right-wing has developed an exploit that is hard to fix while having a reasonable debate. That exploit is The Big Lie combined with a network of easily accessible accessory-lies.

I can say, on stage, that The Holocaust Never Happened--and someone can go and do the research and discover, within seconds, that The Holocaust Never Happened. In the old days, you had to look for books with low circulation printings that were hard to get and pretty clearly written by cranks.

Today, however, by being provocative but contained enough to not be emotional and repeating your story as a voice standing against the tyranny of the politically correct thought police, you can convince people who feel alienated, angry, or disaffected that you are right no matter what the other party says. If they laugh at you? You win because they look condescending.

If they try to debate you in good faith? You win--because your lies will be repeated online for anyone who goes to look. The only way to stand up to this is to have a long-form debate where you get down into the weeds--and the debater had better be really good.

This environment isn't good for traditional media (which doesn't have time for the twists and turns that such rhetorical combat will need to take) and it requires areas of specialty that most media personalities don't have.

Furthermore, what the white supremacist is doing is, rather than making a really strong intellectual case for their cause, instead creating an intellectual protein shell which houses the viral emotional DNA that is injected into the susceptible listener. The facts are pretty irrelevant so long as they are (mostly) not trivial lies: if you get any purchase in a listener, you can get a convert no matter how the less biased audience scores the debate.

So what do you do?

The Only Good Platform: Mockery

It sounds bad--but there is a place for mockery in modern debate. Taking people like Jason Kessler seriously at all is playing their game--and it's a game they'll win. Instead what you want to do is have the discussion--give them the chance to say their piece--but make sure you provide context for it. This context isn't your lies--it's just not allowing their lies to create the agenda. Then, what you need to do is address the emotional drivers of their position. That cracks the "intellectual" outer shell and goes straight to the emotional innards which are both uglier and less attractive--and simultaneously more honest.

This is something, it turns out, comedians do very, very well. John Oliver or Jim Jefferies are far better at letting people speak in their own words and hang themselves than the interviewer on NPR who verbally smirked her way through letting Jason Kessler make his case. See here:



* It has come out since this was written that for this weekend's Unite The Right (II) rally, companies like Air B&B and Uber / Lyft are taking steps to deny the white supremacists access to their services (or, at least, let Uber drivers kick white supremacists out of their vehicles). This--combined with the transport union's refusal to give the nazis special trains--is a kind of cross-over of electronic and physical deplatforming.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Omnivore on Jordan Peterson

By request, The Omnivore will give his take on modern philosopher / best selling author / Intellectual Dark Webhead Jordan Peterson.

NOTE: The Omnivore isn't a Peterson expert--has never been to a lecture, and has only watched a bit of him on YouTube. If it weren't for a request, The Omnivore wouldn't have written this. That said, The Omnivore is never wrong so you can take this to the bank.

Jordan Peterson

Peterson is a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto. He first came on The Omnivore's radar for refusing to use people's "preferred pronouns." Over time, The Omnivore saw that he had written a self-help book that sold a bundle, and then became a cultural celebrity and thanks to YouTube and word of mouth.

The Text of Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson is selling two things--a text and a subtext. His text is that the human experience is a battle between order and chaos--interpreted as good and evil or value and waste. People who are having trouble in life are being overwhelmed by chaos and need to change the narrative of their life towards order.

This is done by some basic and good advice: stand up straight, clean your damn room, etc. The 12 Rules book that he sold is grounded on this good advice and Peterson is apparently an interesting writer leaning hard on Jungian philosophy and some unusual comparisons (even lobsters have hierarchies--used to make a case for hierarchies in real life).

As we know, today there a bunch of young people who have a deep sense of dissatisfaction with their lives and we can all agree they could stand to clean their fucking rooms. As Jordan's advice on this level is both pretty good and interestingly delivered this text is fine and people who are signing up for his teachings are probably getting good value for their attention.

The SubText of Jordan Peterson

The subtext, on the other hand is Jordan Peterson taking on The Left (or "the radical left" as he puts it). On this ground he has a general constellation of basic gripes about the concepts of systemic racism, intrinsic bias, and attempts to legally provide "equal access" (in his formulation that's "equality of outcome"--meaning the loser is turned into a winner).

He also has some leanings towards phrasing things in a way that is sometimes taken for misogyny (his NYT Interview he talks about the value of Enforced Monogamy--meaning societies that promote monogamy through cultural tropes--not societies that don't, for example, let women divorce).

The Omnivore is here to tell you that the "secret sauce" in Jordan Peterson's success isn't his text. There is no limit of good, solid advice that, if you take it, will turn your life around. Show up, chin up, try your best, clean your damn room, dress well, etc. That's not the mystery.

What is appealing about Jordan's product is that it is combined with an alight-right signal that, like VideoDrome, "does the damage."

Why Is This Successful?

The Omnivore is going to guess that the vast majority of Peterson's fans are young and white. The Omnivore is going to guess that most of them skew male. For these people they, like many today, are struggling economically and socially. Some of this is not their fault (we have created a world where you either start out with a college degree and prospects--and crushing debt, or no college degree and very few prospects). Some of this, however, is that modern young men have run into problems with dating and, enough of them have decided that the problem ain't them--it's women.

This core problem, spread across a vast swath of white-guy demographics has the hard-core incels on one end, the successful but awkward geek who thinks he deserves a 9-or-10 girl because of his stock options closer to the middle, and then goes to people who have a job and decent social skills--but are finding a lot more competition from either women in the workforce or minorities in the workforce / dating scene than they like.

Everyone has resentments--but the alt-righty signal that Peterson emits carries through deeply to these guys. They hear Enforced Monogamy and think that sounds like a bloody good idea. Didn't No-Fault Divorce (combined with contraception) ruin western culture?

They are told that the radical left is performing nefarious acts of subversion--maybe "Cultural Marxism" or the "Postmodern Agenda" (Peterson's preferred term, apparently) and it boils down to someone telling them that:

  • They have it EASY FOR BEING WHITE MEN (fuck, no, they think: I can't get a date--I don't have it easy!)
  • They should feel GUILTY FOR HAVING IT EASY (adding insult to injury here)
  • They NEED TO PUT THOSE WOMEN AND FREAKS' WISHES FIRST (whether it be calling a guy by "her" or not calling people on the Call of Duty Server the N-word or hoes, these scolds are vicious and, if they could, would castrate them!)
There are a lot of voices out in society amplifying these signals--so if you get a taste of it--and you like it--you can easily slake your thirst for being the real victim here--and listening to the dapper professor stand tall against the forces of emasculation.

Do they know this is what's selling it to them? No. Probably not. 

Is Jordan aware? Well, kind of. He talks in two modes. The first is the pretty reasonable guy. The second is "the far left is about to totally Stalin us--death camps, re-education. SNIP-SNIP!" He knows he can't do the latter too much--so it's the spice--and apparently his house is full of pictures of the Soviet revolution and shit--so maybe he gets off on the idea of fighting the leftist armies enough that he isn't fully aware of what he's doing (the more you are emotionally invested in a position, the less clearly you can usually see yourself with regards to it).

But whatever the case, know that Jordan is both giving good advice--and preaching some general culture-war bullshit to people who desperately want an enemy on the left to blame for their personal failures.

YES: The Omnivore realizes that the above is a complete oxymoron with respect to Jordan's teachings being counter victimization. It is like a Zen Koan. Mediate on it until you understand, son.

How (Some) Trump Supporters Feel

The Mainstream Media (The Omnivore is looking at you, New York Times) has spent a lot of time interviewing Trump-voters to find out how they feel. One thing is pretty clear: they don't feel like they "won." No--despite having a substantial Electoral Vote victory, both chambers of Congress, and a solid ideological majority (now) on the Supreme Court, it still appears they still feel like  . . . well, losers.

How can this be?

Well, it's a small group that The Omnivore has access to--but since small groups allowed Salena Zito to write a book, a handful of people on Twitter can work for a blog post.

The Psychology of the GOP

In a very direct way the psychological position of the modern GOP can be seen as a direct progression of the loss of John McCain to Barack Obama in 2008. The justification for this kind of sweeping statement is pretty straightforward: The metric by which the GOP base measures victory has not yet been delivered.

That metric is Cultural Respect.

The motivating force for the Tea Party was never high taxes or even the ACA (although concerns about the government meddling in Medicare were, in fact, a significant underlying force). No--it was about the major policy position of the liberals (and, uhm, some racism) being enacted despite maximal opposition from the GOP.

When it went through, the psychological dam broke and the modern GOP was fully minted. Where Obama was a devoted family man, Trump has multiple wives and affairs. Where Obama was accused of needing a teleprompter to speak, Trump's teleprompter speeches are met with extreme relief because without them, he is often incoherent and unpredictable.

Where Obama led congress--or, at least, bent them to his will--Trump has abdicated the leadership role of the party to McConnell and Ryan, leaving Congress to flounder when coming up with uniting policies.

Where the media loved Obama, they hate Trump.

:: record scratch ::

:: Freeze Frame ::

[Voice Over] You're probably wondering how The Omnivore wound up specifically here [ /Voice Over ]

The Metric of Cultural Respect

The Omnivore avers that the thing that Republicans most wanted--and still have not gotten--from a Trump presidency was cultural collateral. If they could not earn it, they would take it by force. This is seen in the evangelical circles where Trump is praised as literally heaven-sent because he will "fight" for their principles.

Never mind that these so-called principles are things like kicking transgender troops out of the military (and bogusly blaming it on cost-cutting), making a slew of meaningless gestures, and installing a justice that literally any and every Republican president would have (meaning Trump's flaws are not in fact measured against Gorsuch).

Outside of the evangelical world, people The Omnivore has heard from say it is okay to be more outwardly Republican. This is probably true: look at the explosion in racist video rants we see on the Internet. Coincidence?

Uh . . . no. No, it is not coincidence. The big, nazi-riffic Unite The Right rally was held under Trump's watch (this is because the various little nazi groups felt ascendant and wanted to consolidate). The next one will be held in Washington DC.

Fox "Entertainment" has gotten more avowedly white-nationalist with Tucker Carlson and Loesch basically coming out and saying the things that were sub-text previously. Fox News people have resigned in disgust--but ratings? They are up.

And Yet . . .

And yet, what pisses of the right--what powers the emotional engine of resentment--is that the stuff they want--respect from the masses--they aren't getting. The Media's stories are 90% anti-Trump. We get weekly Kayfabe between Trump and Jim Acosta. Saturday Night Live continually mocks Trump in a vicious and effective fashion.

For most onlookers, people like Sarah Sanders are objects of amused contempt: when Trump administrators go out to dine, they must always wonder if a new mother, with a baby in  her arms, will ask them to resign. It's tough out there.

Is The Media Being Unfair?

If an alien came down to earth and looked at a few specific claims, what would they think? It's hard to know, really--but we can use Google to look at some specifics.

CNN's Fake News

The Omnivore was told that CNN just more or less makes stuff up. What stuff?

  • Wikipedia's CNN Page: There are two false stories (one about Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund--three reporters resigned). One about Don Jr. getting special stuff from Wikileaks--CNN corrected the story and put new procedures in place.
  • CNN made it look like Trump screwed up in feeding the fish with the Japanese Prime Minister.
  • CNN claimed that the FBI director would refute Trump's claim that Trump was not "under investigation" (This was indeed false--but the idea that Trump remains a subject isn't)
  • Don Lemon and Jim Acosta get lots of flack for blaming Trump for things like death-threats made to CNN, claiming that Republicans had shut down the government, and so on.
If this seems like pretty small-ball stuff, that's because it is. The big mistakes resulted in firings and new procedures being put in place. The other stuff? Well--it's about a lack of respect. It is clear that CNN isn't making stuff up.

Don Lemon and Disrespect

One thing that isn't made up is that across a number of media outlets commentators don't like the president. Don Lemon's interview of LeBron James included a question about what LeBron would say to Trump if sitting next to him. LeBron noted he wouldn't. This, according to a Trump supporter, kinda pissed him off with the disrespect. 

If The Omnivore cared about POTUS being disrespected by celebrities, the Obama era would have killed him--but hey, we all get to have our own standards, right? Right? Well . . . it turns out? No.

Respect has to be earned.

We all agree on this basic tenant of the rules governing 'respect' and, as America does not have literal royalty, just winning the presidency doesn't entitle you to "a crown" or any such cultural station. No, if you sit in the big chair, the onus of governing and leading falls to you.

Trump and his admin sparring with CNN is, in fact, a symbiotic relationship. Trump wants his base to hate CNN so he has cultural traction to rail against. CNN gets hate-clicks and specific cultural cachet by being the target of presidential ire. With both of these forces interlocked in a mutually beneficial (albeit toxic) relationship, you cannot blame just one side.

Both of them are to blame. 

It is true that Obama did, in fact, say some things about Fox News--but not nearly as much--or as incendiary as Trump against his preferred media targets. It's that pacing and intensity that you can use to measure the comparison.

Did Don and LeBron disrespect Trump? Yes. Did he deserve it? Yes (if nothing else, he proved it by his response claiming both were stupid--but even if you call that "punching back" the fact is that anyone can legitimately criticize the president so long as they don't threaten him--that's part of being American--literally. That's 1A).

Conclusions

It is hard to think of a metric other than the continuing improvement of the economy by which the Trump administration is not a moral and governance trash-fire. Trump's roll-outs of policy are amateurish and fraught. Trump's White House leaks like a sieve. Trump, himself, often speaks in gibberish and lies about what he has said or changes positions literally in mid-speech. 

To think that the media would or should . . . or could report positively on this stuff requires very, very, very special pleading: Please just say good things about him--whatever it takes--oh please. 

That's fine for Fox--which has people resigning over that stance. It's not reasonable for anyone else.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Q Continuum

As the Q conspiracy gains steam in the media (and everyone struggles to explain it) it's worth asking:
  1. Why do people believe this shit?
  2. Who are the people who believe this shit?
In response to the first question, the top-level answer is that the poster, "Q," has provided iron-clad evidence of his veracity as a White House insider in his Riddler-Like messages to the world. In the second case, the answer seems to be split between crypto-bros (Men's Rights Activists, MMA / Gamer-Gate types, Trump supporters) and, erm, boomers (a.k.a. "The Olds"). The Omnivore will try and explain why this appears to be the case.

The Proofs of Q

The statement is made--as it is always made with regards to conspiracy theory--that if you just look closely enough, you'll see the truth. Today that's done by watching YouTube videos. Every last one of these little conspiracy-heads has a ton of fucking YouTube videos they want you to watch before they'll accept you know anything about their stupid theory.

Invariably, the YouTube is awful and disappointing.

However, The Omnivore went to one of these videos and watched all of it he could stomach--which was most of it. This is the 7 Proofs of Q



It's "7 facts" that the Media Won't Tell You About--because they PROVE teh [sic] Q. In this video, two chuckleheads talk snarkily about the absolute veracity of his royal Q-ness as proved by their listed events. The Omnivore is not going to go into detail or cover all of them--you can watch the video for that.

1. The '+++' Tweet

Q posts a tweet with the three '+' signs in it--then, hours later, the president does the same! How could Q know this would happen. Coincidence, you're saying. It isn't. The president actually tweeted his tweet with the slightly weird +++ hours before Q did--but because POTUS was tweeting from out of the country, the time-stamps make it look like it was after.

2. The NYC Bombing

Q tweeted with a cryptic line saying "Blunt & Direct Time"--and "BDT. Think currency. Think fireworks." This was the same night as a guy set off ineffective explosives in the NYC Port Authority. Okay--so? It 'turns out' that the guy was from BANGLADESH whose currency is abbreviated BDT! OMG!!

But okay--how could Q have known? It was reported in USA today, the day of the attack, that the bomber was a Bangladesh student. This proves Q read the news (the Q-drop came well after the last update to the USA today story).

3. I Hear You

Q posts messages with 5:5 which is mil-speak for "I read you loud and clear" or, possibly, "everything is optimal." EARLIER that day--EARLIER THAT DAY--Trump spoke to some of the survivors of the school shooting and he had, in his hands . . . a paper reminding him of what to say to these kids!
DO YOU SEE IT??

The president is holding the paper with FIVE fingers--and he has point #5 visible with I-Hear-You. Now, Q posted this after the president spoke--so maybe Q was responding saying "I hear you loud and clear, POTUS." Or maybe not. Whatever: if Q is on the inside and POTUS is on the inside, why are they sending messages through embarrassing photos?

4. The Lamp

Q posts a tweet claiming to be taken inside Air Force 1. It shows (or purports to show) an image taken off the reflection on the back of POTUS's apple phone. It shows the apple logo over a sliver (the reflected image) of a lamp in the back of the Air Force 1 office.

The indication is that Q is inside AF1. Or that he used photoshop. The image itself is noted in the Q post to be distorted. It isn't a great picture to begin with, anyway.

Conclusions

There is no strong reason to believe Q is who they say they are--and even less to believe in the massive network of satanic pedophiles that Q claims POTUS is fighting.

Who Believes In Q?

Vox just did a computer assisted deep dive into the Q stats from Reddit. There are around 200 "super-posters" who do almost all the posts. They mostly live on the Q-sub-reddit. The other active posters are in pro-Trump forums, crypto-currency, Men's Rights (a cesspool of misogynistic claptrap), and similar. Basically? Gamer-Gate-bros. That's Reddit.

The other target-market seems to be aging boomers who are caught up in the conspiracy. Why do we say this? Well, some it's not as scientific, but some Q-watchers have noted that interaction skews kind of old for a 4chan conspiracy. More disturbingly, some QAnon scammers (such as some of the violent militia types out in New Mexico) are getting money from grandmothers who support their quest to save the children (presumably being trafficked).

In any event, the reasons seem, to the Omnivore, to be similar: Q promises in one fell swoop both the dawning of a golden age (yes, under an authoritarian but benevolent ruler) and, two, justice. When you look at those Trump rallies it's the olds who are ugly-faced, screaming at the reporters or just at the world at large.

The Omnivore is pretty sure that hatred for Hillary was a major factor in Trump's appeal--and her not getting locked up has been a sore spot: WHEN WILL SHE FACE JUSTICE??

For the Gamer-Gaters, well, they feel the world has taken a dump on them--and they're happy to see it hit back. They also like the hidden knowledge that the conspiracy claims to impart and the Augmented Reality Game nature of the Q-tips is probably appealing to them in a subtle  yet effective way.

What Does All This Mean?

The Q-Conspiracy is one with an expiration date--sooner or later either no one will be locked up or everyone will. What do people who have invested their heart and soul in a secular reckoning that is promised fails to come? Probably nothing good.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Avenue Q Street Fight

If you don't know what the Q-conspiracy is, you could look here. To be real short: Trump and Mueller have teamed up to take down a global network of satanic pedophiles (Mueller is just pretending to be hunting Trump!). Q, himself, is a person with high ranking clearance who is prepping the masses for this big, world-changing event as the good guys (Trump, Mueller, the military), take over America and many other countries, pulling the wool off our eyes.

When Q "erupted" at the Trump rallies with people wearing t-shirts and carrying signs, the media had to kind of try to explain the twisted, bizarre conspiracy and its even weirder (4chan, 8chan) origins. This is difficult--especially since the particulars are . . . well . . . weird (Q might be RFK--who faked his death to hide from Clinton assassins, for example).

When Q's wave crested the water of public attention at the Trump rallies, there was an interesting reaction: the MAGA-hucksters hit back. Huh?




The battle lines are basically MAGA-hats vs. the Q-believing conspiracy. NOTE: almost all MAGA personalities are running a hustle: InfoWars and Jerome Corsi both tried to get on the Q-wave with their own brands of q-ness--Q wasn't having it.

Now they are anti-ish Q. Which is interesting.

What Is Going On?

The Omnivore avers two things are happening here:

  1. The Q-Story casts Robert Mueller as a good guy--who is working to get the indictments (all sealed) to LOCK HER UP (Clinton) and a lot of other people (Obama, some of the GOP Establishment, various Hollywood personalities like Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, and so on). In MAGA-World, Mueller is leading a traitorous witch-hunt. These things are likely to be on some kind of collision course.
  2. The Q-Story cuts out all the MAGA inside-baseball theory. Jack and Kurt and all those guys can't explain the real MAGA if people are listening to Q. When The Omnivore calls these guys "grifters" it's, in many instances literal (Corsi, Alex Jones) and in other cases more metaphorical (Flynn Jr. may not be monetizing his conspiracy theories--but he is certainly banking social cred with MAGA-world).
So there's a definite conflict of interest.

How All This Ends: Q-Theories

How this all plays out depends, a lot, on who "Q" is. There is a theory that Q is based on a 1999 Italian book about a political prank that plays out pretty similarly to what we see here. That book is called "Q". In this case, Q is a prankster who has had things get sort of out-of-hand. As the book was popular with lefties, it follows that it might be a 4chan lefty playing a prank on Trumpaloos.

If so, funny--but also: this has reached the point where people could get killed. If this is the case, Q is definitely not being responsible in letting it go on.

Another presented case is "Russian Ops." In this theory the Q-Story is another Russian psy-op. The only real evidence for this is that "these days it's always a Russian psy-op." There may be more theorizing coming. The Omnivore doesn't buy this as:
  • As an Op, it's pretty lame. Yes, it managed to blow up bigly--but the idea that a foreign government could predict that is absurd. It doesn't, to The Omnivore's mind, bear an hallmarks of being designed for this kind of placement.
  • The Q-code word that was used to sign posts (so readers knew they were from Q) was "Matlock." (if this makes no sense, just think of it as Q's password--that got hacked, and Q got another one). Would an Intel operator choose that? Probably not.
  • Q, as a theory, is not all that divisive. Yes, it paints the government as terribly corrupt--but while it targets most Democrats, it does not target all Democrats. It targets many Republicans. If Russia was going to lean on a cultural weak point, this probably isn't how they would do it.
Something else? Just because it probably isn't a state actor doesn't mean that the people or person running the Q-Account couldn't have some other agenda. If they do, that would probably be very instrumental as to how this concludes.

First Break: Obstruction

The first major break for Q will come when Mueller releases his Obstruction findings. If Mueller finds Trump to have obstructed justice, then Q will have some 'splaining to do.' We have seen this with some spin on FISA revelations (the Q people claim data was held back that would have been more Q-friendly). An accusation of Trump obstructing justice will be seen as "part of the plan" and the response of the government (likely to do nothing and protect Trump) will be woven into the Q-mythology.

If Mueller clears Trump on that count, it's all good.

Second Break: Collusion

The second break will be if Trump (or, perhaps more likely, Don Jr.) is accused of colluding with Russia in the 2016 election. This will look like betrayal by Muller to the Q-people. How they spin that will depend on how Q spins it. This could be a "the bad guys compromised him"--or it could be "sit tight, trust the process." What is behind Q will determine which it is.

Conclusions

Unlike, say, chemtrails or The Illuminati, Q actually has someone behind it. Someone is writing the posts and someone will have at least a decent hand in the control of how this chapter terminates. This is fairly new territory--Q is a new type of conspiracy for a new digital age--an anonymous prophet with their electronic cadre of priests and followers. Can Q maintain a grip when the prophecies get proven false? We'll have to see.

Monday, July 30, 2018

How To Argue With: A Trumpaloo


Click link to embiggen 

The Omnivore Lecture series continues with -- How to Argue With: A Trumpaloo. A Trumpaloo is, definitionally, someone who is so deep into Trump-right-or-wrong that they (a) don't care if he colluded--he had to save the republic by any means! (b) Deserves glowing press coverage no matter how much chaos he creates (c) Is GETTIN' IT ALL DONE (the wall is going up! Obamacare was repealed, and now the other countries respect us)!

In other words, someone who is detached from reality.

The Taxonomy of the Trumpaloos

There is a more complex taxonomy out there--but unless you expect The Omnivore to innovate the Octahedron Decision Icon, we are going with what we've got. It covers most of the conditions. Why does the Trumpaloo love Trump? Well, this is what they'll tell you!

  1. He's Set The Economy ON FIRE (in a good way)
  2. He Came To Washington as an Outsider to Drain The Swamp!!
  3. He is Finally--FINALLY--Putting America First!
Let's look!

The Economy

The economy is, in fact, doing well--and, in fact, Trump deserves some credit for it! There was a "trump bump" in the market which turned into some Trump expansion when he delivered on executive orders to cut regulations. This is good for Wall Street and Finance. The tax cuts are even better for them.

Of course the economy was doing better and better for quite some time--nine years, in fact--and Obama was constantly criticized for fake unemployment or job creation numbers and the slowest recovery ever and a ton of other nonsense that, now on the tail end, Trump gets credit for. 

If someone is making factual statements about the economy--or even Trump's beneficial effects on it--that's fine. If someone is roundly ignoring the trend under Obama? Well, make sure you show them any of the stats!

The Swamp!!

Trump was supposed to be a different kind of guy--a straight shooter who would fix the corrupt mess of Washington! He was just the opposite. Now, let's get something straight--a HUGE amount of people's belief that Washington is just totally, awesomely corrupt comes from a slew of misunderstandings about how things work.

The process of making and passing bills is complicated--and often experts come with a point of view. Lawmakers need to find sponsors for things--that often comes with some kind of strings attached--and it's true that once you leave D.C. you can go straight into the loving arms of a company that wants to leverage your expertise.

On the other hand, a great deal of this "corruption" is just the miasma of trying to satisfy everyone to the point where you satisfy no one. This is why no one has been able to balance the budget by removing all the inefficiencies and graft: when you try, you find out that there isn't much graft and the inefficiencies are all there for one reason or another--one good reason or another.

What Trump did, though, was bring in guys who were, essentially, raiders. They moved in and began milking the system in grotesque and obvious ways. First-Class private plane flights, 30k dining room sets, hiring cronies, and using protection details as errand boys. Trump's crew--even leaving out guys like Flynn who may have been working for foreign governments--were/are a bunch of corrupt assholes.

Trump, himself, is working the system for his own properties like nobody's business. If someone claims Trump isn't corrupt ask about all the scandals--and don't stop.

A Strong and Manly America!

Maybe the MAGA-ing is about making America strong in the way it "once was"? Well, if you mean more-ok-to-be-racist-in? Yeah. In fact America First was a Klan and American-Nazi slogan before Trump re-purposed it. Maybe that's why the Klan and the Nazis endorsed him?

If it's about a strong national defense or posture? Well, if Obama bowed to a Saudi prince, it looks like Trump got down on his knees for Vladimir Putin (and don't let anyone tell you Trump has been harder on Russia than Obama--it's bullshit for a variety of reasons). 

No--between forcibly alienating our enemies, being submissive towards Russia, and chummy with North Korea, America looks more like a blind weakling floundering around world affairs than a strong-man.

Conclusions

Right now the working claim for the Trump-supporter is that we've gotta wait and see how things pan out (will tariffs work? Will a good DACA bill finally pass sometime once Congress is beaten into submission? Will the economy grow at 8 or 9% to make up for the tax cuts and spending bill?). The Omnivore is VERY dubious--but, at least, if the Trump-supporter can reckon with the fact that this hasn't all happened yet then you're dealing with someone who isn't divorced from reality.

Being optimistic about Trump may be overly credulous--but it isn't vile. Ignoring (much less supporting) the racist elements of America that have flourished under Trump--often wearing his colors or joining his party--and speaking his name--is vile--but that isn't everyone.

Still, if you do wind up with a Trumpaloo, let 'em have it.