Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Nazi' is associated with 493 posts.

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.


Don’t Think Twice, It’s “Alt-right”: Nazi Fellow Traveler Chuck Johnson Helping Trump Transition Team

Noto­ri­ous troll, blog­ger and Naz­i/white-suprema­cist fel­low trav­el­er Charles “Chuck” John­son has sub­stan­tive input in Trump’s cab­i­net selections–“Chuck” may be oper­at­ing in tan­dem with Peter Thiel, whose data­base named the “Plum List” bears a strik­ing sim­i­lar­i­ty to a web­site “ThePlumlist.com,” appar­ent­ly being used by John­son to help staff Trump’s admin­is­tra­tion.