ONTD Political

The Future Of The Culture Wars Is Here, And It's Gamergate

Over the weekend, a game developer in Boston named Brianna Wu fled her home after an online stalker vowed to rape and kill her. She isn't the first woman who's been forced into hiding by aggrieved video game fans associated with Gamergate, the self-styled reform movement that's become difficult to ignore over the past several months as its beliefs have ramified out from the fever swamps of the internet into the real world. She probably won't be the last.

By design, Gamergate is nearly impossible to define. It refers, variously, to a set of incomprehensible Benghazi-type conspiracy theories about game developers and journalists; to a fairly broad group of gamers concerned with corruption in gaming journalism; to a somewhat narrower group of gamers who believe women should be punished for having sex; and, finally, to a small group of gamers conducting organized campaigns of stalking and harassment against women.

This ambiguity is useful, because it turns any discussion of this subject into a debate over semantics. Really, though, Gamergate is exactly what it appears to be: a relatively small and very loud group of video game enthusiasts who claim that their goal is to audit ethics in the gaming-industrial complex and who are instead defined by the campaigns of criminal harassment that some of them have carried out against several women. (Whether the broader Gamergate movement is a willing or inadvertent semi-respectable front here is an interesting but ultimately irrelevant question.) None of this has stopped it from gaining traction: Earlier this month, Gamergaters compelled Intel to pull advertising from a gaming site critical of the movement, and there's no reason to think it will stop there.

In many ways, Gamergate is an almost perfect closed-bottle ecosystem of bad internet tics and shoddy debating tactics. Bringing together the grievances of video game fans, self-appointed specialists in journalism ethics, and dedicated misogynists, it's captured an especially broad phylum of trolls and built the sort of structure you'd expect to see if, say, you'd asked the old Fires of Heaven message boards to swing a Senate seat. It's a fascinating glimpse of the future of grievance politics as they will be carried out by people who grew up online.
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Exclusive: The Daily Banter’s Investigation Helps Catch Sandy Hook Memorial Thief

This morning, police in Herndon, Va. recovered the two signs that had been stolen from the memorial playgrounds honoring Grace McDonnell and Chase Kowalski, victims of the Sandy Hook massacre. Police have told us that The Daily Banter‘s reporting on the story was instrumental in catching 28-year-old Andrew David Truelove and bringing the case to a close.

As we reported here last week, someone claiming to have stolen the signs contacted me and e-mailed pictures of the missing panels, boasting that he had taken them and then called the families of both McDonnell and Kowalski to taunt them by saying that their children had never actually existed and the Sandy Hook massacre was nothing but a hoax. I passed along all the information this person had sent me to the police department in Stonington, Conn., which was working the case. I’ve been in contact with detectives there several times since.

It turns out the photos that we received were loaded with metadata, including geotags, which led Stonington to contact Herndon, where many of the pictures were apparently taken. Police there tracked the geotags to the home seen in the photos we posted last week, which was actually a small unit rented by someone named Alan J. Truelove. They obtained a warrant and this morning arrested Truelove, the father of the man suspected of being the actual sign thief, Andrew David Truelove. While the elder Truelove hasn’t been charged with anything yet, since he denies knowing the signs in his home were stolen, while being arrested he apparently asked the police how they could be sure the Sandy Hook shooting had really happened. So, yes, it looks like he’s a Sandy Hook truther just like his son.

Herndon police told me that when they opened the front door of the Truelove home, the two signs were directly inside, right where they were in the pictures we ran last week.

The younger Truelove, meanwhile, is actually already in jail at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. He turned himself in on May 26th on a probation violation for a separate incident. He’s now been charged with receiving stolen property, with further, heavier charges to follow. Andrew Truelove has an extensive criminal record, much of which is pretty disturbing.

In March of 2012 he was arrested for trespassing on the property of Fairfax High School in Virginia. Before that, in October of 2007, he was arrested and charged in the attempted abduction of an eight-year-old girl walking near the campus of Granby High School in Norfolk, Va. In a statement, Truelove claimed he had simply gone to the school to “seek out school bullies” and “threaten them” with a lug wrench. He claimed he grabbed the backpack of a young girl he found walking past the school but not with the intention of abducting her.

From his statement:

As I approached the field, I noticed a girl (approx. 8), alone, walking away from the field. As I wanted a clear area away from the field to threaten bullies (if I found any), I took hold of the backpack strap (which she had on backwards) and indicated that she should return to the field.

She did so At no point did I touch the girl except as above, nor did I drag or push her. As she approached the field, an older girl (who I now believe was her sister) approached her and escorted her back to the field.

I said to the older girl “Do you know of any bullies around here?” She laughed, said no, and kept walking. This was the last I saw of either girl.

He goes on to cast himself in largely heroic terms, saying at one point that while he was supposedly calling out threats to football players at Granby High School “A large and heavily-built coach approached me, and said ‘I too was bullied’.” The little girl’s mother tells a different story, saying that her daughter was left traumatized after Truelove grabbed her.

It’s also worth mentioning that Truelove claimed at the time to have been under psychiatric care for two years and was kicked out of the University of Virginia in 2003 for allegedly threatening his dorm-mates and some campus housing workers. A psychiatrist who testified at his eventual trial on the attempted abduction charges said Truelove exhibited symptoms of bipolar disorder, including depression and occasional hallucinations. His lawyer told the court, “All of the anger and violence is in Andrew’s mind.”

He was ultimately sentenced to four years in prison but apparently didn’t serve out the term.

More to come on this.

Tens Of Millions Somehow Fail To Turn Out For 'Operation American Spring'

It's still early, but it appears safe to say that tens of millions of people will not be turning out to participate in "Operation American Spring – Beginning Of Tyranny Housecleaning," which kicked off Friday in Washington, D.C.

The plans included ousting President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Attorney General Eric Holder. But as of publication time, those officials remained in office, and early reports were less than encouraging for supporters of the movement, which, in its first phase, called for a "peaceful, non-violent, physically unarmed (Spiritually/Constitutionally armed), display of unswerving loyalty to the US Constitution and against the incumbent government leadership, in Washington, D.C., with the mission to replace with law abiding leadership."

“It’s a very dismal turnout,” Jackie Milton, the head of Texans for Operation American Spring, told The Washington Times. “We were getting over two inches of rain [an] hour in parts of Virginia this morning. … Now it’s a nice sunny day. But this is a very poor turnout. It ain’t no millions. And it ain’t looking like there’s going to be millions. Hundreds is more like it.”

Raw Story, which has been following the movement closely, reported Friday that a live-stream of the day's events was posted online, but that for at least part of the day the feed showed only a call-in show hosted by conservative broadcaster Mark Connors, "who said he was broadcasting from a tour bus about 10 miles away from the National Mall because he could not park any closer."

February 27, 2014

Right-wingers in media, politics and so-called "think-tanks" wasted no time in becoming apoplectic about Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's reluctant decision to veto her state's blatantly discriminatory law which would allow businesses to refuse service to gay customers.

Here are some of the most ridiculous immediate reactions. Expect plenty more idiocy and hate in the coming days: Read more...Collapse )Source

Unhinged is right. These incoherent spewings are so stupid and full of fail that I find them to be more pathetic than rage-inducing. Ymmv, of course, but my reaction is mainly to point and laugh--which is why I'm sharing this.

In closing, here's a little (nsfw) something to take your mind off all this raging butthurt:

[Penis cakes]
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has banned all staff members and surrogates from appearing on MSNBC after the liberal cable news network posted a tweet suggesting that conservatives “hate” interracial marriage.

“Until you personally and publicly apologize, I have banned all RNC staff from appearing on, associating with, or booking any RNC surrogates on MSNBC,” Priebus wrote in a letter to MSNBC President Phil Griffin on Thursday. “I have asked Republican surrogates and officials to follow our lead.”

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Dozens of Democrats are pushing back against an Obama administration effort to curb racial discrimination by car dealerships.

In late March, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—the consumer watchdog agency dreamt up by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)—issued new, voluntary guidelines aimed at ensuring car dealerships are not illegally ripping off minorities. Since then, 13 Senate Democrats, including Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.); and 22 House Dems, including Reps. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Florida) and Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), have joined 19 House and Senate Republicans in signing letters to the agency objecting to the anti-discrimination measure. Consumer advocates and congressional aides say the lawmakers' backlash against the anti-discrimination rules is unjustified, and that Dems have backtracked on civil rights in this instance because of the colossal power of the car dealership lobby, which has spent millions lobbying Congress in the months since the CFPB issued these new guidelines.

Auto dealers "wield enormous amounts of power," one Democratic aide explains. "There's one in every district. They give a lot of money to charity. They're on a bunch of boards. They sponsor Little Leagues."

When a dealership makes a car loan, it often sells the loan to a bank or credit union, which, in return, allows the dealership to mark up the interest rate. Here's the problem: Some dealerships have been accused of charging higher rates to black and Hispanic customers, potentially costing consumers millions of dollars in overcharges. The CFPB's anti-discrimination guidance reminds lenders that they are liable under federal law if car dealerships they work with charge higher interest rates to minority borrowers. The guidance suggests that lenders help prevent discrimination by educating dealers, increasing oversight, and either capping dealership interest rates or requiring dealers to charge a flat fee.
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source: Mother Jones has links at source where you see who signed letters to CFPB
On his Internet-only radio show Focal Point on Wednesday, Bryan Fischer, the national spokesman for the American Family Association, claimed that no man can be trusted with political power unless he is a creationist.

Fischer was discussing the recent Pew Research Center poll that indicated declining support for the theory of evolution among self-identifying political conservatives.

He began by claiming that the United States was a Christian nation, because the founders wrote “that we are created — we are not evolved — beings. It’s right there in the Declaration of Independence.”

“‘All men are’ what?” he asked. “All men are ‘created’ equal, not all men are ‘evolved’ equal.”

According to Fischer, so fervently did the founders believe that man is “a created being, not an evolved one that rose from a swamp,” he suggested that “if a politician…is an evolutionist, he is disqualified from holding political office in the United States of America, because he does not share the political world view that established the United States of America.”

“I’m not saying there should be a law prohibiting [evolutionists] from running for public office,” he continued. “I’m saying that the American people shouldn’t vote for him, because if that man doesn’t believe we are created beings…he cannot be trusted to protect your civil rights, because he doesn’t believe your rights come from God.”

“So I want to submit to you,” he concluded, “that there is no man that can be trusted with political power — no man, not a single one, not anywhere on the planet, who can be trusted with political power if he thinks we are descendents of apes, rather than the creation of God.”

Watch Fischer’s entire discussion on America as a Christian nation below. source

too facepalmy for bold t b h
A young white Australian woman turned 21 and decided to have an "African" themed birthday party. After the festivities, she posted photos to Facebook. Ignorance, insensitivity and racism ahoy!

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I like how she's like I NEVER ENCOURAGED ANYONE TO DO THIS, yet she let them walk through the fucking front door.  And I guarantee there wasn't a single black person at that party because she would have trotted them out already saying WELL MY BLACK FRIEND WASN'T OFFENDED.
A billboard suggesting that a bloc of five states secede from the union appeared along I-44 in Missouri:
secession billboard:

As of yet, it is not clear who is behind the billboard — and it’s worth noting that, whoever is behind the effort, they appear unaware of the fact that Michigan is not contiguous with the other four states the billboard lists. Nevertheless, the view expressed by this billboard is far from unheard of in American politics. A December 2012 poll found that twenty-five percent of registered Republicans want their state to secede from the United States. As of the middle of last November, over 675,000 people signed pro-secession petitions in order to express their anger that President Obama was reelected.

source: Think Progress

EDIT: for our non-american members, a map of the US with state abbreviations:


These are extraordinary times. The depth and strength of voters’ conviction that their opponents are determined to destroy their way of life has rarely been matched, perhaps only by the mood of the South in the years leading up to the Civil War.

In a recent column for Bloomberg View, my friend Frank Wilkinson put together a concise explanation:

A lot of Americans were not ready for a mixed-race president. They weren’t ready for gay marriage. They weren’t ready for the wave of legal and illegal immigration that redefined American demographics over the past two or three decades, bringing in lots of nonwhites. They weren’t ready — who was? — for the brutal effects of globalization on working- and middle-class Americans or the devastating fallout from the financial crisis.

Their representatives didn’t stop Obamacare. And their side didn’t “take back America” in 2012 as Fox News and conservative radio personalities led them to believe they would. They feel the culture is running away from them (and they’re mostly right). They lack the power to control their own government. But they still have just enough to shut it down.

Animosity toward the federal government has been intensifying at a stunning rate. In a survey released on Sept. 23, Gallup found that the percentage of Republicans saying the federal government has too much power — 81 percent — had reached a record-setting level.

The movement to the right on the part of the Republican electorate can be seen in Gallup surveys calculating that the percentage of Republicans who identify themselves as conservative grew between 2002 and 2010 by 10 percentage points, from 62 to 72 percent. During the same period, the percentage of Republicans who identify themselves as moderates fell from 31 to 23 percent.

These trends date back to the 1970s. Surveys conducted by American National Election Studies found that the percentage of self-described conservative Republicans rose from 42 in 1972 to 65 percent in 2008, while the percentage of moderate Republicans fell from 26 to 16 percent. Liberal Republicans — remember them? — fell from 10 to 4 percent.

Take the findings of a Pew Research Center survey released four weeks ago. They show that discontent with Republican House and Senate leaders runs deep among Republican primary voters: two-thirds of them disapprove of their party’s Congressional leadership — John Boehner, the speaker of the House, and Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader.
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Long article, but worth the time. Not a whole lot here ONT_Per's don't already know instinctively but it does a great job of getting into the mindset of the people who vote for the GOP.
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