Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Nazi' is associated with 484 posts.

FTR #1003 School Shootings and Fascist Groups, Part 2

Public schools and public education are, and for many years have been, the focal point of right-wing activity. From dissatisfaction over mandated school desegregation to opposition to the judicial ban on prayer in public schools to the present-day draconian slashing of public education budges, the right has attacked public education. At the same time, the right has promoted the use of public funds for parochial schools and home schooling as alternatives to public education.

The formative experience of public school attendance might well be viewed as fundamental to young peoples’ socialization process–learning to share, acquiring tolerance for those of different backgrounds and learning the basics of civic life  in America.

Public schools have also come under attack–quite literally–from armed fascists.

This is the second program dealing with school shootings and the role fascist groups play in the development of such incidents. The broadcast begins with a brief summary and recap of key points of discussion from FTR #1002. They include:

1.-Patrick Purdy’s apparent links to Aryan Nations.
2.-Purdy’s anti-Asian xenophobia, deeming that Americans were being edged out in their own homeland.
3.-The Order’s attempts at developing mind control techniques.
4.-Purdy’s involvement with the Unification Church.
5.-The profound effect of school shootings on both parents and students of affected institutions. School shootings fundamentally undermine peoples’ sense of comfort and create an anxiety conducive to the implementation of totalitarianism.
6.-The provision of Oliver North’s martial law contingency plans to use paramilitary right-wingers as federal deputies.

Discussion proceeds to the Florida high school shooting. Mort Sahl’s observation decades ago that “A liberal’s idea of courage is eating at a restaurant that hasn’t been reviewed yet” is exemplified by journalists’ retraction of the story of Parkland, Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz being affiliated with the ROF because of what might be termed “reverse trolling.” A post on a chat group about the Cruz/ROF link was deemed to be false. Jordan Jereb told journalists that Cruz was a member of his group, but that he hadn’t seen him in a long time. He has been said to be “walking that back.” Just HOW does one “walk that back?” ” . . . . The ADL said ROF leader Jordan Jereb told them Cruz was associated with his group. Jereb, who is based in Tallahassee, said Cruz was brought into the group by another member and had participated in one or more ROF training exercises in the Tallahassee area, the ADL said. . . . Jereb told the ADL that ROF had not ordered Cruz to take any such action. He told ABC News he has not spoken to Cruz in ‘some time’ but said ‘he knew he would getting this call.’ . . . .” Jereb told the ADL that ROF had not ordered Cruz to take any such action. He told ABC News he has not spoken to Cruz in “some time” but said “he knew he would getting this call.”

Whether or not Nikolas Cruz was formally networking with the Republic of Florida or other neo-Nazi groups, he was indeed a neo-Nazi in spirit: It turns out that Cruz had swastikas etched onto his ammunition magazines used during the attack. This reminds us of the jottings Patrick Edward Purdy had on his weapons and clothing.

Cruz didn’t just suddenly adopt a neo-Nazi worldview. He’s been stewing in these juices for years, and clearly had additional mental health issues.

Several factors greatly exacerbate the school shooting phenomenon.

The Steam gaming app, a major distributor for very popular video games, has a neo-Nazi problem–neo-Nazis are using its chat room and voice-over-IP options to promote their ideology. Both the Daily Stormer and Andrew Auernheimer have Steam chat rooms, as does AtomWaffen.

On these forums, there are 173 different groups championing school shooters, lauding them as heroes and setting the stage for future incidents. ” . . . . A leading gaming app that is popular with adherents of the neo-Nazi wing of the alt-right movement has at least 173 groups dedicated to the glorification of school shootings, according to a report published last week by Reveal News. . . .”

In addition, Nazi groups are actively recruiting depressed people! ” . . . . For years, members of the alt-right have taken advantage of the internet’s most vulnerable, turning their fear and self-loathing into vitriolic extremism, and thanks to the movement’s recent galvanization, they’re only growing stronger. . . . According to Christian Picciolini, a former neo-nazi who co-founded the peace advocacy organization, Life After Hate, these sort of recruiting tactics aren’t just common, but systematically enforced. ‘[The recruiters] are actively looking for these kind of broken individuals who they can promise acceptance, who they can promise identity to,’ Picciolini said in an interview with Sam Seder. . . .”

Although not included in the audio portion of the program due to the limitations of time, we note that, in our opinion, the presence of lethal, military-style firearms are not, by themselves, the primary factor in the epidemic of school shootings and other mass casualty firearms attacks. A would-be school shooter can always purchase a pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun, saw it off and precipitate considerable mayhem.

Many of the school shootings have been performed by fascists of one stripe or another, manifesting the type of actions advocated by the likes of Michael Moyniahan, James Mason and their fellow travelers. Mason and his role model Charles Manson are now viewed favorably by a segment of the Nazi movement. The role of nihilist/fascist ideology in motivating some of the school shooters should be factored into the discussion.

The role of the media in conditioning young people to kill is a major focal point of the book On Killing by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman, who taught psychology at West Point. From Amazon’s promotional text for Grossman’s book: “The good news is that most soldiers are loath to kill. But armies have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. And contemporary civilian society, particularly the media, replicates the army’s conditioning techniques, and, according to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s thesis, is responsible for our rising rate of murder among the young. Upon its initial publication, ON KILLING was hailed as a landmark study of the techniques the military uses to overcome the powerful reluctance to kill, of how killing affects soldiers, and of the societal implications of escalating violence. Now, Grossman has updated this classic work to include information on 21st-century military conflicts, recent trends in crime, suicide bombings, school shootings, and more. The result is a work certain to be relevant and important for decades to come.”

Our high body-count movies and TV programs, as well as point-and-shoot video games, according to Grossman, replicate to a considerable degree the audio-visual desensitization techniques used by contemporary armies to help recruits overcame their inhibitions about killing. We suggest Grossman’s thesis as a factor in the school massacres.

Program Highlights Include:

1.-The paramilitary right-wing Oath Keepers deployment of heavily armed cadre outside of schools.
2.-Discussion of how the likes of Stewart Rhodes and his Oath Keepers are the type of paramilitary right-wingers who would be deputized in the event of an activation of martial law contingency plans.
3.-The online disparagement of Parkland high school students by the “Alt-Right.”
4.-The use of the C14 militias in Ukraine to enforce public order in Kiev (the capital) and 21 other cities. The organization takes its name from the 14 words of David Lane, a member of the Order. One of that group’s founders was highlighted at the beginning of FTR #1002, noting his quest to obtain sophisticated weaponry and to develop mind-control techniques.


FTR #1002 School Shootings and Fascist Groups, Part 1: Purdy’s Last Stand Redux

Public schools and public education are, and for many years have been, the focal point of right-wing activity. From dissatisfaction over mandated school desegregation to opposition to the judicial ban on prayer in public schools to the present-day draconian slashing of public education budges, the right has attacked public education. At the same time, the right has promoted the use of public funds for parochial schools and home schooling as alternatives to public education.

The formative experience of public school attendance might well be viewed as fundamental to young peoples’ socialization process–learning to share, acquiring tolerance for those of different backgrounds and learning the basics of civic life  in America.

Public schools have also come under attack–quite literally–from armed fascists.

The first of a two-part series, this program consists almost entirely of a recap of material from Miscellaneous Archive Show M55: Purdy’s Last Stand: The Stockton (CA) Schoolyard Massacre of 1989.

Although Mr. Emory would have engaged in a more nuanced discussion of school shootings and their political and psycho-social implications had the program been recorded today, there are some essential elements to be considered in connection with the event.

The synoptic written description for the program reads as follows:

“Advances the working hypothesis that the Stockton schoolyard massacre of January 1989 may have been deliberately precipitated by elements of the U.S. national security establishment acting in combination with elements of the ultra-right. Patrick Edward Purdy murdered five Asian-American schoolchildren and then committed suicide, spurring legislation for gun control and creating public fear and sentiment for police state tactics. Purdy had associations with Aryan Nations and the Moon organization, and may have been a covert intelligence community patsy and victim of mind control. The broadcast analyzes a possible intelligence community connection to the gun control movement within the larger background of the martial law contingency plans developed by the Reagan and Bush administrations.”

Again, Mr. Emory would have presented a more nuanced analysis of this event had it occurred today–almost 30 years later–critical elements of the dissection of Purdy’s last stand bear repeating and more intense scrutiny:

1.-Purdy’s xenophobic view of Asian-Americans  and “immigrants”–a point of view that is held by a large portion of the Trump constituency, the so-called “Alt-Right” in this country and abroad, as well. Exacerbated greatly by economic deprivation stemming from globalization and the financial collapse of 2008 and austerity economics instituted in the EU at the instigation of Germany and the U.S. by the obstructionist GOP Congressional  majority that took power after the 2010 mid-term elections, the fear of immigrants is a major aspect of fascist ideology.
2.-The galvanizing effect on both parents and their children of the school shootings is vital to consider. Terrorized by these events, a populace is far more willing to  accept police-state tactics–creeping martial law, if you will.
3.-The martial law contingency plans formalized by Oliver North and company and outed during the Iran-Contra scandal involved the federal deputization of paramilitary right-wing groups such as the Oath Keepers and Nazi and fascist elements. Ironically, much of the so-called “Alt-Right” now incorporate anti-gun control ideology and martial law plans into their world view. In Lecture M3, we highlighted how elements of what are now called “Alt-Right” are playing into the various scenarios they inveigh against.
4.-It is ironic that much of the so-called “Alt-Right” cite gun control as a step toward martial law. Although they are correct, up to a point, they fail to realize that they, themselves, will be both instigators of, and in some cases, the enforcers for, that very same martial law!
5.-Public education has long been a target of the far-right, which attacked school integration in the 1950’s, 60’s and ’70s, the banning of prayer in public schools and, in later years attempts at introducing programs like sex education and programs promoting a more tolerant attitude toward others. In calendar year 2018, we should note that public schools are under attack from the far right, and not just in the person of school shooters. Betsy De Vos, Trump’s Secretary of Education, is pushing for federal funding of parochial schools, enabling of for-profit colleges. The GOP and far right are pushing home schooling as an alternative to public education and the further slashing of federal and state budgets, which inevitably harms public education. We note that public schools are a major font of social awareness. Students–ideally–encounter and develop a greater understanding and tolerance for others in public schools. Public education is a major feature of social cohesion, and its dissolution a major step toward the implementation of fascism.


Florida High School Shooting: Assist, Greenwald

Accused Florida High School shooter Nikolas Cruz belonged to, and took paramilitary training with the Republic of Florida: ” . . . a white supremacist group . . . .” Of particular interest in analysis of the Florida shooting is the advocacy on the part of ROF leader Jordan Jereb for the “lone wolf/leaderless resistance” strategy: ” . . . . A training video the group posted online shows members practicing military maneuvers in camouflage clothing and saluting each other, along with music with the lyric: ‘They call me Nazi / and I’m proud of it.’ In the weeks before the attack, on Gab, a social media network sometimes used by white nationalists, Jereb had recently praised Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik as a ‘hero.’ He also posted a diagrammed strategy for using the Republic of Florida militia to create ‘lone wolf activists.’ . . . .” In FTR #888 we noted Glenn Greenwald’s signature efforts as a lawyer for Nazi groups, neutralizing their liability for civil suits. Without Citizen Greenwald’s efforts, victims and the families of victims might have been able to exact civil liability from Republic of Florida for their suffering. Good job Glenn! Good job Greenwald apologists! All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 37+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated. iated.


FTR #980 Nazism, Anti-Gay Propaganda and Reproductive Rights

With the Trump administration moving against gay rights and reproductive rights, and with the public attention largely focused on yet another mass murder in Las Vegas, we delve back into the archives for the benefit of newer and younger listeners.

On 2/28/1988, we recorded Miscellaneous Archive Show M13: Gay Rights, Reproductive Rights and the Third Reich, highlighting how the nascent, vigorous gay rights movement in Weimar Germany was a focal point for Nazi propaganda and political action.

Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld was the lynchpin of the strong gay liberation movement in Weimar Germany and, as a result, was a focal point of Nazi Party propaganda, fueled with the additional fodder of the fact that Hirschfeld was Jewish.

(We note, in passing, that the gay rights movement in Weimar Germany received considerable support from a segment of the country’s feminist community grouped around Dr. Helena Stoecker.)

Historically, German attitudes toward homosexuality were mixed, with some regions manifesting a relatively liberal attitude and enforcement posture and others, an extremely reactionary position in both respects. Paragraph 175 was the official German statute making sex between adults of the same gender illegal. Again, the enforcement of Paragraph 175 was highly selective from a regional standpoint.)

In a manner directly foreshadowing U.S. right-wing propaganda in recent decades, the Nazi Party denounced Hirschfeld and homophile sexual activity as a product of, and a contributor to, the moral decay of the Weimar Republic and democracy in general.

Beginning with review of the suppression of gay rights groups and advocates in the immediate aftermath of Hitler’s ascension, the program notes how the Nazi tactic of tarring their political opponents with the taint of “homosexuality” developed into a political/legal gambit of specifically targeting specific individuals within the Nazi party and German armed forces.

One of the victims of this dynamic was Ernst Roehm, head of the SA and one of Hitler’s earliest and most significant associates. A “doctrinaire” homosexual who felt that men who had sex with women were inferior to those who had sex with other men, Roehm’s removal from power removed a potential obstacle to Hitler’s command of the army.

Furthermore, the purge of Roehm and his SA on the premise of homosexuality institutionalized the device of outright murder as a defensible vehicle of the German state and ready option of Hitler’s political will.

It was the “Night of the Long Knives,” as the purge became known, that established murder as a defensible and ongoing tool of state.

The Nazi anti-gay and anti-pornography ideology was instrumental in the successful removal of key general staff officers who viewed with disfavor by Hitler.

General Werner Von Blomberg married a woman who posed for pictures some viewed as pornographic. This material was obtained by the Gestapo and used to leverage Von Blomberg’s resignation.

Another key general staff officer who was an opponent of Hitler and Goering was general Von Fritsch, who was framed for being “homosexual,” jailed and relieved of his general staff position.

The latter part of the program relates how both homosexuality and abortion were ideologically and propagandistically conceptualized by the Nazis as twin opponents of the successful breeding of suitable numbers of young German men to fight the country’s wars–a theme that U.S. right wingers have borrowed to argue against gay and abortion rights in this country.

Program Highlights Include: 

1.-The SS implementation of the Lebensborn program to support out-of-wedlock children sired by SS officers.
2.-The portrayal of homsexuality as an “epidemic.”
3.-The similarity between Nazi [alleged] chronicling of the gay sexual liaisons of Haso Engel–a German gay man and the propaganda gambit of “Patient Zero.” An alleged “lone nut” Scandinavian flight attendant, Gaeton Dugas–“Patient Zero”–was the supposed origin of the AIDS epidemic. We have discussed AIDS as the application of genetic engineering to biological warfare in past programs.


FTR #979 Nazism, Anti-Gay and Anti-Feminist Propaganda and the Fritz Haarmann Incident

With the Trump administration moving against gay rights and reproductive rights, and with the public attention largely focused on yet another mass murder in Las Vegas, we delve back into the archives for the benefit of newer and younger listeners.

On 2/28/1988, we recorded Miscellaneous Archive Show M13: Gay Rights, Reproductive Rights and the Third Reich, highlighting how the nascent, vigorous gay rights movement in Weimar Germany was a focal point for Nazi propaganda and political action. Furthermore, a mass killing by homosexual Fritz Haarmann terrorized Weimar Germany, fueled Nazi anti-gay propaganda and reinforced the public perception in the German populace that the situation was “out of control.”

Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld was the lynchpin of the strong gay liberation movement in Weimar Germany and, as a result, was a focal point of Nazi Party propaganda, fueled with the additional fodder of the fact that Hirschfeld was Jewish.

(We note, in passing, that the gay rights movement in Weimar Germany received considerable support from a segment of the country’s feminist community grouped around Dr. Helena Stoecker.)

Historically, German attitudes toward homosexuality were mixed, with some regions manifesting a relatively liberal attitude and enforcement posture and others, an extremely reactionary position in both respects. Paragraph 175 was the official German statute making sex between adults of the same gender illegal. Again, the enforcement of Paragraph 175 was highly selective from a regional standpoint.)

In a manner directly foreshadowing U.S. right-wing propaganda in recent decades, the Nazi Party denounced Hirschfeld and homophile sexual activity as a product of, and a contributor to, the moral decay of the Weimar Republic and democracy in general.

A major contributing factor to the impact of this Nazi propaganda was the Fritz Haarman incident.

In the city of Cologne, Germany, a mass murderer/serial killer named Fritz Haarmann terrorized the city with a gruesome series of killings in which youngsters were lured to his dwelling, killed and their corpses butchered, packaged and sold as “horse meat.” The fact that Haarmann was homosexual contributed to the outrage of many citizens. The gruesome kilings and lurid headlines they generated helped fuel the perception that “something was wrong with society.” (Although there appear to have been many differences, we wonder about the Las Vegas shooting and its effect on the American populace in the context of the Haarmann incident.)

This reinforced the Nazi anti-gay propaganda.

Adding another dimension to the case were the facts that:

1.-Haarmann was an informant for the Cologne police department.
2.-Haarmann carried a Cologne p.d. badge.
3.-The head of the Cologne police department was Gustav Noske, who, as the defense minister of the fledgling Weimar Republic, had formed the military formations that crushed the socialist uprisings that occurred in Germany after the First World War. Those formations, the Freikorps, the Einwohnerwehren and the Zeit Freiwilligen Verbande crushed the uprisings and laid the foundation for what became known as “The Black Reichswehr.” Those “underground” military formations assassinated key political figures in Germany (such as Walther Rathenau), laying the groundwork for the rise of the Nazis.

The Nazi anti-gay propaganda fused with the party’s anti-abortion stance, as gays, advocates for gay rights, women seeking abortions and abortion-rights advocates were tarred with the same ideological brush as being “anti-German” by virtue of the ideological concept that more births of “German stock” strengthened the German nation.

Furthermore, pro-gay rights and pro-abortion positions were lumped into a larger, negative ideological stance grouping both viewpoints in with “Jewish” and “communist” ‘enemies of the state.”


What Was This Guy Doing at Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras’ Party?

In FTR #888, we detailed Glenn Greenwald’s years-long (pre-“journalist”) career running pro-bono legal interference for Nazi killers and the leaderless resistance strategy. At their party celebrating receipt of the prestigious Polk Award, Greenwald and Laura Poitras had Nazi troll/hacker Andrew Auerenheimer as a guest. Auerenheimer (pictured at right) is also the site architect for the “Daily Stormer,” arguably the leading white supremacist blog/website. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 37+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.


Nazis in New Orleans (#3)

In FTR #188, we discussed the “Hate Bus,” put together by American Nazi Party chief George Lincoln Rockwell to protest the Freedom Riders and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. New Orleans American Nazi Party member Ray Leahart was arrested in the Hate Bus incident. Leahart was reportedly seen with Lee Harvey Oswald–neither the FBI nor the Warren Commission accessed Leahart’s arrest record in the incident. This may have been due to the fact that New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Regis Kennedy was very close to Oswald handler Guy Bannister. Leahart was also close to Dallas American Nazi Party member Robert Surrey (Edwin Walker’s personal secretary), who printed up the infamous “Wanted for Treason” poster of JFK. Leahart was also best man at David Duke’s 1972 wedding. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 37+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.


Nazis in New Orleans (#2)

In the most recent Food For Thought post, we began excerpting a recent, massive volume “General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy” by Jeffrey H. Caufield M.D. In this post, we excerpt text discussing David Ferrie’s Nazi musings and associations. “. . . . Baragona was a Nazi from Fort Sill. . . .Garrison also obtained a transcript of a letter written by David Ferrie to Baragona. Next to Baragona’s name, Garrison wrote: ‘Note Baragona is important.’ The letter had been sent to Garrison by Glenn Pinchback, and a carbon copy was sent to Mendel Rivers, a congressman from Georgia. (Pinchback worked in the Operations Command at Fort Sill, where he intercepted mail.) In the letter, Ferrie shared his dream of the re-unification of Germany and living in a world where all the currency was in Deutschmarks. Pinchback’s summation of the letter described a ‘Neo-Nazi plot to enslave America in the name of anti-Communism,’ and ‘a neo-Nazi plot gargantuan in scope.’ The Ferrie letter spoke of the need to kill all the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, Jr. . . .”


Nazis in New Orleans (#1)

We have discussed Nazi elements in the operational New Orleans phase of the JFK assassination in previous programs and posts. In this and future posts, we will excerpt a massive and important recent book which, when the necessary handicapping is done, provides detail about the New Orleans Nazis involved with the Guy Banister milieu. ” . . . Above the operational level, insulated and removed to the point of being very nearly invisible, appeared to have been individuals whose political orientation can only be described as Neo-Nazi. Even as I have described this Neo-Nazi aspect, I am sure that it sounds somewhat fanciful. Because of the unbelievability of this part of the picture, I have found it necessary to refrain from mentioning it . . . . . Nevertheless, the essentially Fascist origin of the assassination is inescaple.–D.A. Jim Garrison’s Letter to Lord Bertrand Russell, August 27, 1967. …”


FTR #946 In Your Facebook: A Virtual Panopticon, Part 2

In FTR #718 (recorded on Independence Day weekend of 2010), we noted that the new social medium–Facebook-might very well be the opposite of the liberating, empowering entity many believed it to be.

On the contrary, we said–it received financial backing from the CIA, permits unprecedented gathering and databasing of users’ personal information, and might very well be a “panopticon”–a type of prison in which the interned can never see his or her jailers, but their keepers can see the interned at all times.

In particular, we noted the prominent position of major Facebook investor Peter Thiel in “Mondo Zuckerberg.” Of German (and probable I.G. Farben) origins, we opined that Thiel was Underground Reich. Opposed to democracy because he feels it is inimical to wealth creation and doesn’t believe women should be allowed to vote, Thiel has now emerged as one of the most prominent of Donald Trump’s supporters, transition team creators and influential policy wonks.

Whereas we explored the “virtual panopticon” concept of Facebook with a question mark in 2010, we now feel affirmatively on the issue.

A very important story from New York magazine sets forth Facebook’s role in the just-concluded election. ” . . . . Facebook’s size, reach, wealth, and power make it effectively the only one that matters. And, boy, does it matter. At the risk of being hyperbolic, I think there are few events over the last decade more significant than the social network’s wholesale acquisition of the traditional functions of news media (not to mention the political-party apparatus). Trump’s ascendancy is far from the first material consequence of Facebook’s conquering invasion of our social, cultural, and political lives, but it’s still a bracing reminder of the extent to which the social network is able to upend existing structure and transform society — and often not for the better. . . .

” . . . . Facebook’s enormous audience, and the mechanisms of distribution on which the site relies — i.e., the emotionally charged activity of sharing, and the show-me-more-like-this feedback loop of the news feed algorithm — makes it the only site to support a genuinely lucrative market in which shady publishers arbitrage traffic by enticing people off of Facebook and onto ad-festooned websites, using stories that are alternately made up, incorrect, exaggerated beyond all relationship to truth, or all three. . . .

” . . . . And at the heart of the problem, anyway, is not the motivations of the hoaxers but the structure of social media itself. Tens of millions of people, invigorated by insurgent outsider candidates and anger at perceived political enemies, were served up or shared emotionally charged news stories about the candidates, because Facebook’s sorting algorithm understood from experience that they were seeking such stories. Many of those stories were lies, or ‘parodies,’ but their appearance and placement in a news feed were no different from those of any publisher with a commitment to, you know, not lying. As those people and their followers clicked on, shared, or otherwise engaged with those stories — which they did, because Trump drives engagement extremely bigly — they were served up even more of them. The engagement-driving feedback loop reached the heights of Facebook itself, which shared fake news to its front page on more than one occasion after firing the small team of editorial employees tasked with passing news judgment. . . .

” . . . . Something like 170 million people in North America use Facebook every day, a number that’s not only several orders of magnitude larger than even the most optimistic circulation reckonings of major news outlets but also about one-and-a-half times as many people as voted on Tuesday. Forty-four percent of all adults in the United States say they get news from Facebook . . . ”

Symptomatic of Facebook’s filter of what its users see concerns the social medium’s recent non-coverage of the women’s march:

” . . . . We don’t usually post on Pando at the weekend, but this is too topical and too shameful to wait until Monday. As you certainly know, today is the day of the Women’s March on Washington in protest of Donald Trump. The main event is in DC, where something close to 500,000 protesters of all genders and ages have packed the streets — but there are also major protests in Chicago, New York and around the world. Including Antarctica.

You certainly know this because the protest march is the top story on every major news outlet, and because updates and photos from the event are flooding your Twitter and Facebook feeds.

And yet, here’s what Facebook’s trending news feed looked like at the height of the march…

And here’s its trending politics feed…

Notice anything missing?

Like, say, a half million women? . . .

In case you think I’m seeing something different from the rest of the world, be assured I’m not….”

Facebook has changed its algorithm, no longer factoring in “likes” and other personal preferences in determining its news feed.

This, however, does not bode as well as Facebook would like us to believe. Facebook has promoted, among others, Campbell Brown, to an important position in structuring its news feed: ” . . . . Brown has longstanding ties not just to the traditional news media, but also to conservative politics, although she describes herself as a political independent. She is a close personal friend of Betsy DeVos, the Republican megadonor who is Donald Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, and is married to Dan Senor, a former top advisor to Mitt Romney who also served as spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. . . .

. . . . And alongside her mainstream media experience, Brown is familiar with the world of non-traditional news outlets springing up online. In 2014, she founded a nonprofit news site, The 74, which bills itself as nonpartisan but which critics have said functions as advocacy journalism, tilted in favor of charter schools and against teachers’ unions. The site was launched with money from donors including the foundation run by DeVos, Trump’s proposed Education Secretary. When the nomination was announced, Brown said she would recuse herself from The 74’s coverage of DeVos. . .”

Brown is joined by Tucker Bounds, a former John McCain adviser and spokesman for the McCain/Palin campaign.

Exemplifying the terrifying possibilities of the virtual panopticon, we examine the nexus of Cambridge Analytica, its principal investors, Robert and Rebekah Mercer and Steve Bannon, a key member of the firm’s board of directors and a political guru to Rebekah. ” . . . . For several years, a data firm eventually hired by the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, has been using Facebook as a tool to build psychological profiles that represent some 230 million adult Americans. A spinoff of a British consulting company and sometime-defense contractor known for its counterterrorism ‘psy ops’ work in Afghanistan, the firm does so by seeding the social network with personality quizzes. Respondents — by now hundreds of thousands of us, mostly female and mostly young but enough male and older for the firm to make inferences about others with similar behaviors and demographics — get a free look at their Ocean scores. Cambridge Analytica also gets a look at their scores and, thanks to Facebook, gains access to their profiles and real names.

“Cambridge Analytica worked on the ‘Leave’ side of the Brexit campaign. In the United States it takes only Republicans as clients: Senator Ted Cruz in the primaries, Mr. Trump in the general election. Cambridge is reportedly backed by Robert Mercer, a hedge fund billionaire and a major Republican donor; a key board member is Stephen K. Bannon, the head of Breitbart News who became Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman and is set to be his chief strategist in the White House. . .

” . . . . Their [the Mercers] data firm, Cambridge Analytica, was hired by the Cruz campaign. They switched to support Trump shortly after he clinched the nomination, and he eventually hired Cambridge Analytica, as well. Their top political guru is Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chairman and White House chief strategist. They’re close, too, with Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who also has a senior role in the White House. They never speak to the press and hardly ever even release a public statement. Like Trump himself, they’ve flouted the standard playbook for how things are done in politics. . . .”

Bannon’s influence on Rebekah Mercer is particularly strong: ” . . . Another of the Republican operatives described Bannon as the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ to Rebekah Mercer, and a third was even more pointed: ‘Svengali.’ Bannon is ‘really, really, really influential’ with Mercer, said the former Breitbart employee. The Mercers, the former employee said, made their wishes known through Bannon, who would sometimes cite the company’s financial backers as a reason for Breitbart not to do a story. Bannon didn’t respond to a request for comment about this. . . .”

In turn, the influence of Steve Bannon within the Facebook virtual panopticon is even more sinister considering Bannon’s political outlook: ” . . . . But, said the source, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about Bannon, ‘There are some things he’s only going to share with people who he’s tight with and who he trusts.’

Bannon’s readings tend to have one thing in common: the view that technocrats have put Western civilization on a downward trajectory and that only a shock to the system can reverse its decline. And they tend to have a dark, apocalyptic tone that at times echoes Bannon’s own public remarks over the years—a sense that humanity is at a hinge point in history. . . .”

One of the influences on Bannon is Curtis Yarvin, aka Mencius Moldbug, who has actually opened a backchannel advisory connection to the White House: ” . . . . Before he emerged on the political scene, an obscure Silicon Valley computer programmer with ties to Trump backer and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel was explaining his behavior. Curtis Yarvin, the self-proclaimed ‘neoreactionary’ who blogs under the name ‘Mencius Moldbug,’ attracted a following in 2008 when he published a wordy treatise asserting, among other things, that ‘nonsense is a more effective organizing tool than the truth.’ When the organizer of a computer science conference canceled Yarvin’s appearance following an outcry over his blogging under his nom de web, Bannon took note: Breitbart News decried the act of censorship in an article about the programmer-blogger’s dismissal.

Moldbug’s dense, discursive musings on history—’What’s so bad about the Nazis?’ he asks in one 2008 post that condemns the Holocaust but questions the moral superiority of the Allies—include a belief in the utility of spreading misinformation that now looks like a template for Trump’s approach to truth. ‘To believe in nonsense is an unforgeable [sic] demonstration of loyalty. It serves as a political uniform. And if you have a uniform, you have an army,’ he writes in a May 2008 post.’It’s been a while since I posted anything really controversial and offensive here,’ he begins in a July 25, 2007, post explaining why he associates democracy with ‘war, tyranny, destruction and poverty.’

Moldbug, who does not do interviews and could not be reached for this story, has reportedly opened up a line to the White House, communicating with Bannon and his aides through an intermediary, according to a source. Yarvin said he has never spoken with Bannon. . . .”

After discussing Facebook’s new AI technology being employed to search users’ photos, the program concludes with the shift of Silicon Valley money to the GOP.

Program Highlights Include: review of Steve Bannon’s role on the NSC; review of the martial law contingency plans drawn up by Oliver North during the Reagan administration, involving the deputizing of paramilitary right-wingers; review of Erik Prince’s relationship to the Trump administration and Betsy De Vos, Trump’s education secretary.