qanon

How Trump ended up dropping Russian 4chan conspiracies in that Ukraine call

Man, 2019 is weird. Read the rest

Birds Aren't Real

Birds Aren't Real is an amusing parody of conspiracy grift merch, which is to say it is a site where you can buy t-shirts and other things emblazoned with a bespoke conspiracy theory that Birds Aren't Real (they are, of course, government surveillance drones).

All across this wretched country there are leaders, those that have chosen to lead. To impart the knowledge of this travesty to every man, woman, and child. They will not rest, and can't (even if they wanted to) as there are drones on top of their house making loud noises. This bird nightmare makes the Illuminati and JFK conspiracies look like a toddler playing in the Burger King Play Place.

The Audubon Society reports that the site was "hatched" by a 20-year-old student.

Sounds extreme but also somewhat fitting, given the landscape of today's social discourse. By surfacing murky bits of history and the ubiquity of Aves, Birds Aren’t Real feeds into this era of post-truth politics. The campaign relies on internet-fueled guerilla marketing to spread its message, manifesting through real-world posters and Photoshopped propaganda tagged with the “Birds Aren’t Real” slogan.

For much of its devoted fanbase, Birds Aren’t Real is a respite from America’s political divide—a joke so preposterous both conservatives and liberals can laugh at it. But for a few followers, this movement is no more unbelievable than QAnon, a right-wing conspiracy theory turned marketing ploy that holds that someone with high-level government clearance is planting coded tips in the news. Therein lies the genius of Birds Aren’t Real: It’s a digital breadcrumb trail that leads to a website that leads to a shop full of ready-to-buy merchandise.

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Popular new conservative activist turns out to be antisemitic conspiracy theorist

The conservative internet loves Zach Vorhies, a lovely activist that exposes leftist mischief at Google! *5 seconds later* We regret to inform you the Zach is a racist.

Right-wing provocateur James O’Keefe published his latest video on tech giants on Wednesday, touting an interview with former YouTube software engineer and self-proclaimed “whistleblower” Zach Vorhies. In the video, Vorhies claims that Google’s search algorithms are riddled with political bias, and touted a cache of internal Google files he alleges prove his case. ... What O’Keefe’s video leaves out, though, is that his much-hyped insider is not as credible as he claims. On social media, Vorhies is an avid promoter of anti-Semitic accusations that banks, the media, and the United States government are controlled by “Zionists.” He’s also pushed conspiracy theories like QAnon, Pizzagate, and the discredited claim that vaccines cause autism.

Remember the scene where Senator Palpatine says "I love democracy" and, thanks to Ian McDiarmid's acting talent, a crudely-scripted corrupt politician is shaded with pathos and genuine discomfort? In my memory, Palpatine says only "I love surprises" in this scene. I don't know why, but it works quite well and I have no plans to rewatch the Star Wars prequels to correct my neurons.

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The weird grift of "sovereign citizens": where UFOlogy meets antisemitism by way of Cliven Bundy and cat-breeding

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the "sovereign citizen" movement/conspiracy theory (previously) has grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to a combination of the rise of antisemitism (long a dogwhistle in the movement, now out in the open), an increase in financial desperation and a sense of betrayal, and the movement's ability to realize real cash for its members, who have systematically defrauded the underfunded and resource-strapped IRS of move than $1B. Read the rest

Cataloging the far right elements of the Yellow Vest movement

The Yellow Vest movement, like a lot of anti-establishment movements, is a complex phenomenon, filled with both right- and left-wing elements, changing character from place to place and even day to day. Read the rest

German neofascists used Qanon to expand their reach

Germany's Alternative For Germany (AfD) party (previously) are an insurgent neofascist movement with ties to senior mainstream politicians and the country's super-wealthy would-be oligarchs; the party put on a hard push in the the 2018 Bavarian elections and their meme warfare was full of familiar voter-suppression tactics, from garden-variety disinformation to exhortations to stay home on election day. Read the rest

Are these Crosshairs in Roger Stone's Instagram post attacking Judge Amy Berman Jackson, federal judge in his case?

The judge imposed a limited gag order on Roger Stone last week.

#D5: Advice for people who just realized that Qanon is bullshit

Qanon is an unbelievably stupid conspiracy theory whose underlying bullshittery is mathematically provable, and whose primary proponents are pallsy with the President, and whose adherents include mass-murderers whose crimes are linked to their belief in the Qanon conspiracy. Read the rest

At least 11 killed in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

A gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday, killing at least 11 people while shouting "All Jews must die". The man, identified by KDKA as Robert Bowers, opened fire upon police when they arrived, injuring three officers. Bowers, who is white, was then taken into custody

"The scene is very bad inside," said Wendell Hissrich, Pittsburgh's director of pblic safety.

The SWAT team had been talking with the suspect, and he was crawling and injured. Police sources tell KDKA’s Andy Sheehan the gunman walked into the building and yelled, “All Jews Must die.” Sheehan confirmed that eight people were confirmed dead. Others had been shot but the extent of their injuries in unknown at this time. Police have requested that residents stay inside their home as they exchanged gun fire with a suspected gunman.

Squirrel Hill is Pittsburgh's biggest Jewish neighborhood. Social media profiles associated with Bowers (and archived by Laura Rozen before their deactivation) show a Neo-Nazi Qanon true believer ranting about "invaders", "globalists", and the Jews: "there is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation."

"Officials are looking to determine whether or not this was a hate crime," adds ABC News.

Updates: Bowers confirmed as the shooter by KDKA; death toll.

Here's CBS live:

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Trump honors Qanon 'Democrat pedophile cult' conspiracy pushers with White House visit

Somehow, Lionel Lebron, the man behind the Qanon 'Democrat pedophile cult' conspiracy theory, managed to meet with Donald Trump on Thursday inside the office of the President of the United States at the White House.

Yes, really. Read the rest

Qanon "codes" are consistent with an English-speaker mashing a QWERTY keyboard

Qanon (previously) is an eye-wateringly stupid far-right conspiracy theory whose proponents spend hours trying to decode alleged ciphertexts created by the cult's leader or leaders. Read the rest

Anonymous declares war on Qanon

Qanon is a person or group behind an unhinged right-wing conspiracy theory that is really too stupid to elucidate (you can listen to this Reply All if you're really interested); it's a kind of trumpian Pizzagate successor that includes great, unhealthy lashings of secret Democratic pedophile rings (because far-right assholes are more worried about imaginary children in nonexistent pizzeria basements than they are actual children in ICE cages). Read the rest

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