Posts Tagged ‘conspiracy theories’

Where Conspiracy Theories Can Come From

March 16, 2022

Why do we see misleading patterns? PatrickJMT describes Ramsey theory, which states that given enough elements in a set or structure, some interesting pattern among them, of some kind, is guaranteed to emerge. The key to some of the more kabbalistic conspiracy theories we’ve seen in the past few years.

A TED-Ed video directed by Aaron, Sean & Mathias Studios, narrated by Addison Anderson, with music by Manuel Borda.

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Cult-Like Online Conspiracy Theory Groups

March 10, 2022

Dr. Janja Lalich explains the cult-like nature of many online conspiracy theory groups, how people get caught up in them, and what can be done to help those who have fallen into them. A Wired video.

Related:

“Why people believe Covid conspiracy theories: could folklore hold the answer?” Anna Leach and Miles Probyn, The Guardian

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Pro-Virus Protesters Infested DC Last Weekend

January 26, 2022

Pro-Virus Protesters Infested DC Last Weekend

Thousands of disgruntled and unvaccinated citizens descended on Washington DC last Sunday to defend their right to infect fellow Amercans with the COVID-19 virus. Anti-vaccine protesters and other members of the pro-death movement included the usual quacks and wingnuts, but also their strange bedfellow Robert Kennedy Jr., who compared vaccine mandates to Dr. Mengeles’ experiments at Auschwitz.

The District of Columbia has vaccine and mask mandates for indoor dining, so naturally the wrathful anti-vax throngs took their anger out on DC’s restaurant waitstaff.

Update:

“RFK Jr. apologizes after condemnation for Anne Frank comment,” Michelle R. Smith, Associated Press

More:

“Thousands march on Washington, D.C., in rally against vaccine mandates,” Daniel Uria, UPI

“Anti-vaccine activists march in D.C. — a city that mandates coronavirus vaccination — to protest mandates,” Katie Mettler, Lizzie Johnson, Justin Wm. Moyer, et al., Washington Post

“Anti-Vaccine Mandate Rally Draws Misinformation, RFK Jr., and Comparisons to Nazi Germany,” Eli Weiner, Washington City Paper

“‘Defeat The Mandates’ Rally Against Covid-19 Precautions Held During Omicron Surge,” Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes

Related:

“5 Republican Politicians Freaking Out About DC’s Vaccine Mandates,” Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian

“Omicron Cases Appear to Peak in U.S., but Deaths Continue to Rise,” Mitch Smith, Julie Bosman and Tracey Tully, New York Times

“The Anti-vaccine Right Brought Human Sacrifice to America,” Kurt Andersen, The Atlantic

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Twitter Axes Anti-Vaxxer Marjorie Taylor Greene

January 3, 2022

Twitter Axes Anti-Vaxxer Marjorie Taylor Greene

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, GOP QAnon Drama Queen and Miss Misinformation 2021, has finally been booted from Twitter for her anti-vax, pro-virus tweets. Sadly, her official congressional Twitter account is still active, and she has lots of time to tweet, having been bounced off all her House committees.

More:

“Twitter permanently suspends Greene’s account over COVID-19 misinformation,” Caroline Vakil, The Hill

“Twitter permanently suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account,” Doha Madani, NBC News

“Twitter bans Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account over COVID misinformation,” Joe Hernandez, NPR News

“Twitter Permanently Mutes Marjorie Taylor Greene Account for Spreading COVID Misinformation,” Jordan Hoffman, Vanity Fair

Updates:

“McCarthy Campaigns For Speaker By Denouncing Twitter After It Suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Summer Concepcion, TalkingPointsMemo

GOP leader criticizes Twitter over Greene decision without naming her,” Rebecca Klar, The Hill

“Rand Paul Vows to Fill Misinformation Void Caused by Twitter’s Ban of Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

“Facebook temporarily suspends U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s account,” Daniel Uria, UPI

“Conservatives clash: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Dan Crenshaw trade social media insults,” Chelsey Cox, USA Today

“Trump’s Favorite Pastor Is ‘Tired’ of Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Zachary Petrizzo, Daily Beast

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QAnon Isn’t a Conspiracy, It’s a Religion

August 16, 2021

QAnon Isn't a Conspiracy, It's a Religion

Why are Qanon True Believers impervious to facts? As prophecized, after 2020, Qanon became a cult, wholly based on belief, and you can’t argue with religious faith.

And this Cult of Q is growing. A recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core found that 15 percent of Americans say they think that the levers of power are controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles, a core belief of QAnon supporters. 15 percent of Americans, 30 million people, means QAnon has more followers in America than Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism combined.

More:

“QAnon Now as Popular in U.S. as Some Major Religions, Poll Suggests,” Giovanni Russonello, New York Times

“Understanding QAnon’s Connection to American Politics, Religion, and Media Consumption,” Public Religion Research Institute

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Trump Insurrection Selfies: Sedition Self-Incrimination

January 11, 2021

Trump Insurrection Selfies: Sedition Self-Incrimination

The seditious MAGA insurgents who broke into the U.S. Capitol at the bidding of Donald Trump and killed a police officer are being sought by law enforcement. Photos of the red-hatted terrorists have been posted by the FBI and DC Metropolitan Police, and the public is being asked to identify them. The FBI has even posted wanted photos at bus shelters in the DC metro area.

While a few brave press photographers provided some serious documentation of the domestic terrorists, many more pix were taken and posted by the Trump supporters themselves, bragging on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, DLive, and other social media platforms about their illegal occupation of the Capitol in answer to the president’s call.

The FBI and DC police aren’t the only ones preserving and scrutinizing the Capitol mob social selfies. Activists around the world, digital sleuths, have archived the MAGA-brag trophy pix before they could be taken down, and have been scrutinizing them since last Wednesday. One of the bigger finds so far was retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock, Jr., identified by John Scott-Railton at The Citizen Lab and outed by The New Yorker

Insurrectionists have scattered, but arrests on Federal and District charges are mounting. Before Instagramming the boys back home, those White Supremicist Christian warriors should have recalled Proverbs 16:18, “‘Hold my beer’ goeth before a fall,” and suchlike.

More:

“Thanks For the Evidence, You Seditious Dweebs,” Whitney Kimball and Tom McKay, Gizmodo

“The Pro-Trump Mob Was Doing It For The ’Gram,” Elamin Abdelmahmoud, BuzzFeed News

“The Instagram Insurrection,” Brian Kahn, Gizmodo

“More Capitol rioters in viral posts arrested, senator urges social media providers to keep data,” Rich McKay, Reuters

“The Capitol rioters put themselves all over social media. Now they’re getting arrested.” Sara Morrison, Vox

“Local Police Departments Investigate Whether Their Officers Took Part in Capitol Riot,” Andrea Noble, Route Fifty

“Off-duty police, firefighters under investigation in connection with U.S. Capitol riot,” Maria Caspan, Reuters

“At least 25 domestic terrorism cases opened as result of assault on Capitol: lawmaker,” Andrea Shalal and David Shepardson, Reuters

Updates:

“Anne Arundel police officer suspended while department investigates possible involvement in Capitol insurrection,” Lilly Price, Capital Gazette

“US Capitol Building Riot: Justice Dept. Pursues at Least 150 Suspects,” Katie Benner and Adam Goldman, New York Times

“Who were they? Records reveal Trump fans who stormed Capitol,” Michael Biesecker,
Michael Kunzelman, Gillian Flaccus, and Jim Mustian, Associated Press

“Archivists Are Mining Parler Metadata to Pinpoint Crimes at the Capitol,” Jason Koebler and Joseph Cox, Motherboard

“MAGA Civil War shirts, a Camp Auschwitz hoodie, and other extremist merchandise was on full display at the Capitol riot,” Hilary George-Parkin, Vox

“‘Trump said I could’: One possible legal defense for accused rioters,” Teri Kanefield and Mark Reichel, Washington Post

“Capitol Riot Suspect Arrested in DC Airport After Bizarre Series of Events,” Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian

“This Site Published Every Face From Parler’s Capitol Riot Videos,” Wired

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Trump Enthusiasts Respectfully Await Final Election Returns

November 9, 2020

Trump Enthusiasts Respectfully Await Final Election Returns

In an historic display of good citizenship and patriotism, armed supporters of defeated candidate Donald Trump gathered at vote processing centers to dispute arithmetic and threaten election workers. God Save the Republic.

More:

“Faced with defeat, armed protesters in Arizona insist election stolen,” Mimi Dwyer, David Shepardson, Reuters

“Election officials worried by threats and protesters,” Nomaan Merchant and Tim Sullivan, Associated Press

“Philadelphia police arrest armed men allegedly heading to vote-counting center,” Cameron Jenkins, The Hill

“Increasingly normal: Guns seen outside vote-counting centers,” Tim Sullivan and Adam Geller, Associated Press

“‘It’s not over’: Trump supporters flock to state capitols after Biden victory is announced,” Susan Miller and Jordan Culver, USA Today

“The Next 2020 Election Fight? Convincing Trump’s Supporters That He Lost,” Miles Parks, NPR News

Updates:

“Philly Vote-Counters Getting Death Threats Because of Trump’s ‘Deranged’ Theories: Republican Commissioner,” Jamie Ross, Daily Beast

“Arkansas police chief resigns after calling for violence against Democrats,” Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken, CNN

“Republican Philadelphia official responsible for vote counting says office getting death threats,”Dominick Mastrangelo, The Hill

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Image (“Trump Enthusiasts, after James Whale“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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How Masks Got Political

August 27, 2020

Health authorities agree: Wearing a mask can help stop the spread of the coronavirus. But even after thousands have died, many people still don’t believe it.

A Vox video by By Madeline Marshall.

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Doc Retweeted By Trump Says Government is Run by Reptilians

August 3, 2020
Doc Retweeted By Trump Says Government is Run by Reptilians

Government Lizard People: seeing is believing.

President Donald Trump retweeted Houston physician Stella Immanuel last week, a fellow fancier of debunked “miracle coronavirus cure” hydroxychloroquine. The good doctor also believes there are Lizard People among us:

“In a 2015 video, Immanuel, who leads a religious group called Fire Power Ministries, said: ‘There are people ruling this nation that are not even human,’ describing them as ‘reptilian spirits’ who are ‘half human, half ET.'”

— “Aliens and ‘reptilians’: US viral video doctor’s odd beliefs,” France 24

That explains why Trump spokes-creatures like Stephen Miller focus our fears on ethnic minorities to distract us from their own space alien invasion.

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Image (“Government infested by Reptilians!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Ginni Thomas, Spy Hunter!

February 26, 2020

Ginni Thomas, Spy Hunter!

Rightwing lobbyist, Supreme spouse, and Tea Party cultist Ginni Thomas is making a list, checking it twice, and ridding the Trump White House of spies, snakes and traitors, those professional civil servants more devoted to the Constitution than personal loyalty to Donald Trump. That sounds better to conspiracy nuts when they call the Civil Service the “Deep State.”

Since 2013 Ginni Thomas has been part of the ad hoc Groundswell group, a rightwing cabal opposed to GOP centrists as much as liberal Democrats. In January she and other Tea Party survivors met with President Trump in the White House with a belated Christmas gift, their Naughty/Nice List. The Goundswell goons called for the firing of qualified federal government professionals and the hiring of Trump toadies, hard right wingnuts, Fox News talking heads, and other incompetents in their stead.

After getting her fringe-group friends into high White House places, Ms. Thomas plans to defend the Trump-archy in the 2020 election through her own MAGA-supporting PAC.

More:

“Trump’s ‘Deep State’ hit list,” Jonathan Swan, Axios

“Among Those Pressing Trump to Weed Out Disloyalty: Clarence Thomas’s Wife,” Maggie Haberman, New York Times

“Clarence Thomas’ Wife Is Helping Trump Purge ‘Snakes’ From the White House — and Replace Them With Fox News Regulars,” Travis Gettys, The New Civil Rights Movement

“Ginni Thomas’ White House Meeting Was Just Another Grift,” Mark Joseph Stern, Salon

Updates:

“Trump acknowledges lists of disloyal government officials to oust,” Jacob Knutson, Axios

“Trump Claims Purging Officials Who Are ‘Disloyal’ To Him Is Good For America,” Cristina Cabrera, TalkingPointsMemo

“Baby-faced assassin: the 29-year old at the heart of Trump’s ‘deep state’ purge,” Tom McCarthy, The Guardian (also “A new senior leader at the White House personnel office: A college senior,” Daniel Lippman and Meridith McGraw, Politico).

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Image (“Ginni Thomas, Spy Hunter!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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