Chickenhawk Republican Climate Deniers Just Killed Critical Military Funding

The Republican Party has distinguished itself for its shameless, knee-jerk opposition to anything with even a faint fragrance of liberalism. Their robotic rejection of any policy proposed by President Obama, or any other Democrat, is evidence of their acute aversion to critical thinking – or thinking period. And now they may have demonstrated that their assholiness even extends to weakening America’s national security.

Chickenhawk GOP

The Pentagon has long regarded Climate Change as a credible risk factor for international affairs. It is predicted that it will cause more severe natural disasters like hurricanes and drought, and multiplying refugee crises. All of this will profoundly increase the sort global tensions and conflict for which the United States must be prepared.

In response to these risks the Pentagon implemented a strategy (Department of Defense Directive 4715.21) for dealing with the consequences of a warming world. It was a fairly innocuous plan that mainly called for assigning specific people the responsibility of insuring that necessary measures were being taken to address potential problems. But even that plan was too much for the anti-science GOP, as reported by Politico:

“Last week, however, House Republicans voted to block it. By a 216-205 vote Thursday, the House passed an amendment prohibiting the department from spending money to put its new plan into effect. Not a single Democrat voted for the amendment, which was attached to the defense spending bill.”

The amendment was authored by Colorado Republican Ken Buck, who has no experience in either science or the military. His ignorance on the subject led to a defense of his amendment that makes little sense:

“The military, the intelligence community [and] the domestic national security agencies should be focused on ISIS and not on climate change. The fact that the president wants to push a radical green energy agenda should not diminish our ability to counter terrorism. […] The president has talked about an increase in the climate temperature on the planet. It is a fraction of a degree every year. How that is a current threat to us is beyond me.”

Indeed, this entire subject is beyond Rep. Buck. Apparently he thinks that the Defense Department, with 3.1 million employees and a budget of more $600 billion is incapable of concentrating on more than one thing at a time. Buck also believes that being prepared to respond to future military threats is part of a “radical green agenda.” His absurd position suggests that the U.S. should also drop any projects related to Russia, North Korea, NATO, cyber-warfare, or anything else not directly concerning ISIS.

Republican fear mongers, and their PR division at Fox News, are heavily invested in fighting a narrowly defined war on “radical Islamic terrorism” that mainly consists of reciting those three magic words and watching the bad guys dissolve into the ether. They have no affirmative suggestions for achieving victory, but they are overflowing with pointless criticisms. They mock those, including President Obama, who correctly assert that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than Climate Change.”

Conservatives who dispute the looming danger of a world with declining resources like water and arable land dismiss the warnings of 97 percent of the scientists who study the matter. They believe the whole crisis is a hoax that was invented to enrich greedy professors or, as Donald Trump laughably claimed, by the Chinese. However, the issue was laid out in stark detail by a Republican administration with an icon of modern conservative national security taking the lead:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.”

And Rumsfeld is not alone among security professionals in warning about Climate Change. The Politico article quotes several, with decades of military experience, who regard Buck’s amendment as foolish and more costly in the long run. In fact, four of the past Secretaries of Defense (Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that Climate Change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And three of the four are Republicans. Those are the people Ken Buck and his fellow Republicans are overruling with this ill-considered budget cut.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So why would the GOP advance this nonsense that is contrary to the non-partisan opinions of most experts? Because conservatives don’t really care about national security. What they want is to terrify people by focusing on the immediacy and bloodshed of incidents like the recent massacre in Orlando. Which is, ironically, the same thing the terrorists want. And that purely political, self-serving objective overrides any genuine interest in the welfare of the American people or the world.

President Obama Humiliates The ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Trolls And Takes A Swipe Donald Trump

President Obama gave an address today that covered the tragic events in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, as well as an update on the fight against terrorism. The speech was remarkably similar to my article yesterday “Return Of The Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine: Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Three Times.”

After offering condolences to the victims and their families, Obama gave an accounting of the progress being made in the fight against ISIL and other terrorist organizations and reiterated our objective in the fight saying resolutely that “Our mission is to destroy ISIL.”

Obama Trump

While partisans on the right are constantly demonstrating their faltering patriotism by declaring that America is losing the war on terror, the facts enumerated by the President prove that the opposite is true. The evidence is in the significant losses of the terrorist’s leadership and foot soldiers and the shrinking geography and area of influence that terrorists control.

Obama covered all of that in detail. However, he also took some time to put to rest the absurd obsession that rightists have with the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” saying that “there is no magic to the phrase.” Nevertheless, and contrary to all reason, it has become an acute fetish with Republicans who hold that the mere utterance of the phrase will magically dissolve ISIS into the ether. Obama shot that down with eloquence and intelligence. He began with a direct hit:

“For a while the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL, is to criticize this administration, and me, for not using the phrase “radical Islam.” That’s the key they tell us. We can’t beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamists.”

“What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is it a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is “none of the above.” Calling a threat by a different name doesn’t make it go away. This is a political distraction.”

Indeed it is. And that is likely the goal of Obama’s critics who callously use this issue for political gain and as a cudgel against the President they never regarded as legitimate. Obama answers those who call for him to recite the magic phrase with a simple and logical observation:

“Not once has an adviser said, ‘Man, if we use that phrase, we are going to turn this whole thing around.’ Not once. So someone seriously thinks that we don’t know who we are fighting? If there is anyone out there who thinks we are confused about who our enemies are, that would come to a surprise of the thousands of terrorists we have taken out on the battlefield.”

“If the implication is that those of us up here and the thousands of people and the country and around the world who are working to defeat ISIL aren’t taking the fight seriously, that would come as a surprise to those who have spent these last seven and half years dismantling Al Qaeda in the FATA for example, including the men and women in uniform that put their lives at risk and the special forces that I ordered to get Bin Laden that are now on the ground in Iraq and Syria.”

And then Obama turned his attention to the person who is currently the most prominent presidential troll on this subject.:

“They know full well who the enemy is. So did the intelligence and law enforcement officers who spent countless hours disrupting plots and protecting all Americans. Including politicians who tweet and appear on cable news shows. They know who the nature of the enemy is.”

Politicians who tweet? Obama went on to state that his reasons for not using the magic phrase have “nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with actually defeating extremism.” He correctly notes that the terrorists want to make this a war between Islam and America, that they want us to validate them as the legitimate voice of all of the world’s Muslims. But if we fall into that trap, the President said, “we are doing the terrorists work for them.” He warned that “this kind of rhetoric and loose talk and sloppiness” represents a dangerous mindset, one that he recognizes in Donald Trump:

“We now have proposals from the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States to bar all Muslims from immigrating into America. You hear language that singles out immigrants and suggests entire religious communities are complicit in violence. Where does this stop? […] Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that’s not the America we want? It doesn’t reflect our democratic ideals. It won’t make us more safe, it will make us less safe.”

In closing, Obama recalled that our country has made mistakes in the past “when we acted out of fear and we came to regret it.” He made an impassioned plea to uphold the values that make America worth fighting for:

“This is a country founded on basic freedoms, including freedom of religion. We don’t have religious tests here. Our Founders, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, are clear about that. And if we ever abandon those values we would not only make it easier to radicalize people here and around the world, but we would have betrayed the very things we are trying to protect: The pluralism, the openness, our rule of law, our civil liberties. The very things that make this country great. The very things that make us exceptional. And then the terrorists would have won, and we cannot let that happen. I will not let that happen.”

Republicans have made their choice for a candidate who babbles in platitudes and hate speech; who has demonstrated a profound ignorance of the most pressing issues; and who has no respect for the truth (see the Trump Bullshitopedia). But America still has a choice to make and, if they are paying attention, it will be an easy one. No matter what anyone thinks about Hillary Clinton, the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency should be enough incentive to vote Democratic straight down the line.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Return Of The Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine: Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Three Times

Radical Islamic Terrorism. Radical Islamic Terrorism. Radical Islamic Terrorism.

There, I said it three times. Is it gone yet?

In the childish imagination of American conservatives the only reason that terrorism still exists is that President Obama and other Democrats have failed to utter the magical incantation “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” The Wingnut Republican Tabernacle and the Pharisees of Fox News have devoutly concluded that this mantra is the key to defeating groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. They believe that it is rhetorical kryptonite to terrorists. And then they wonder why we think they’re stupid.

Beetlejuice

What we have here is the widespread adoption of the fabled Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine wherein you shout “Radical Islamic Terrorism” three times and ISIS disappears. It’s clearly an obsession with these strategery geniuses. What’s more, they are convinced that babbling a few words of sorcery is a more effective weapon in the fight against terrorists than actually fighting terrorists. So even though as Commander-in-Chief President Obama disposed of Osama Bin Laden and eliminated thousands of terrorist operatives, including many of their leaders, he can’t possibly be serious about the mission until he chants that sacred three-word spell. Never mind the reports from the real world about actual military progress:

The Pentagon says it has killed about 26,000 ISIS fighters altogether, cut into the group’s cash flow, and driven the terrorists out of 40 percent of the land the organization once controlled. The population living under ISIS’s brutal reign has dropped from 9 million to 6 million people. U.S. strikes have killed several top ISIS strategists, and there are reports that ISIS fighters are retreating wherever they’re attacked, rather than fighting as fiercely as they once did.

And yet, draft dodgers like Donald Trump, who have no experience whatsoever in national security or counter-terrorism, continue to insist on adherence to a vapid slogan they’ve elevated to scripture. In a tweet shortly after the Orlando massacre was reported Trump asked:

“Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!”

Those are the sort of deep thoughts that populate the mind of a man who when asked who he speaks to for advice on foreign policy responded that “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” It’s the same man who immediately after hearing the news of the gruesome shootings rushed to Twitter to congratulate himself – twice (here and here) for being right about his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country. Apparently his “very good brain” missed the fact that the shooter was an American citizen born in New York.

And set aside the fact that Trump is a confirmed birther who believes that Obama should resign in disgrace for being a Kenyan who faked his American citizenship. Now his first response to the worst mass shooting in american history is to taunt the President for not saying “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” I can’t help but wonder what Trump and his ilk think would change if the President humored them and said the three little words (which used to be “I love you”). Would there be even one more life restored or one more terrorist removed from the battlefield? Of course not. Yet Trump spent the majority of his first post-Orlando speech preaching the “Radical Islamic Terrorism” gospel as if it had some relevance to solving the problem.

On the other hand, there are concrete reasons for declining to say “Radical Islamic Terrorism” or to otherwise refuse to associate the entire Muslim faith with the acts of violent extremists. We have legitimate concerns regarding our ability to form coalitions with the Muslim nations in the Middle-East whose cooperation is required to prevail against ISIS. That objective is not helped by demeaning their faith. But it’s more than that. By accepting the terms and definitions of the terrorists, Republicans, Fox News, et al, are acting as the PR department for the terrorists who desperately aspire to be regarded as the legitimate voice of Islam. Why are people like Trump insisting on granting the terrorists that victory?

When you look at who is for or against directly tying the terrorists to Islam you’ll discover a set of alliances that is enlightening. Those is favor of connecting those dots are the terrorists themselves, Fox News, and the Donald Trump faction of the Republican right. On the other side is President Obama, religion and terrorism experts, and the vast majority of the world’s Muslims who, we must not forget, are also the vast majority of the victims. So the real question here is why is Donald Trump, the GOP, and Fox News on the same side as the terrorists in an effort to brand their heinous activities?

Conceding that terrorism is the way of Islam amounts to an acceptance of the terrorists demands. It is a form of appeasement that rewards them with precisely what they seek: religious legitimacy. And the Trump Crusaders are playing into their hands. They are, in effect, supporting the goals of the terrorists.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

One of the arguments frequently proffered to assert that Islam and terrorism are inseparable is that the terrorists call themselves Muslims. By that logic they would also have to argue that Christianity and terrorism are inseparable because right-wing militias, the KKK, and abortion clinic bombers call themselves Christian. But don’t expect to hear that from tunnel-blind right-wingers. Their only interest is in spreading irrational hatred and employing fear to gain power. Sounds something like terrorism, doesn’t it?

The Heinous Political Opportunism Of Fox News On The Orlando Massacre

The sad reality of having to cover yet another incident of mass gun violence in America is made all the worse by the revolting political opportunism of the knee-jerk hate mongers at Fox News. In the early hours of Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, a gunman entered a nightclub with an AR-15 and other weapons and murdered fifty innocent people, wounding more than fifty others. It’s a tragedy that calls for the uniting of all Americans against the insanity that produces these maniacs.

Fox News

However, instead of seeking the unity and solace that the nation so desperately needs at times like this, Fox News ventured off into a flagrantly biased political diatribe against President Obama (video below). Fox and Friends co-host Tucker Carlson was interviewing an author and alleged expert on terrorism when he asked the following question:

“Doesn’t the politicization of all of this, the relentless lying by the administration about the Islamic terror threat we face make it harder for people to want to step forward and say what they see?”

Carlson’s question is so rife with hypocrisy and hatred it is difficult to know where to begin. First of all, it is Carlson who is responsible for “the politicization of all of this.” Most of the people in positions of authority are withholding comments until more facts are known. The only statement from the administration was an acknowledgement of the horror of terrorism, committment to its defeat, and expressions of condolences. Carlson’s question is itself political in nature and aimed at maligning the president he hates.

Secondly, there is absolutely no evidence of “lying by the administration about the Islamic terror threat we face.” That’s a scurrilous fabrication straight from the warped mind of an anti-Obama bigot. The Obama administration has forthrightly addressed the terrorist threat and has done more to combat it than any other president in history. Under his direction the American military has killed or captured hundreds of terrorist leaders and operatives, including Osama Bin Laden, a task that President Bush was unable to achieve for seven years.

For the host of an alleged “news” network to make such reprehensible comments, only hours after the slaughter, while the victims and their families are still grief-stricken, is not unusual for Fox News. They have engaged in similar politicization of tragedies as disperse as Benghazi, Paris, Aurora, Newtown, and San Bernardino. It didn’t make any difference if the crimes were related to terrorism or not. They were always somehow the fault of President Obama.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News is brazenly catering to the hatred of their audience. This is all to common for Fox as documented in The Collected Hate Speech of the Fox News Community. All it takes is brief glance at the comments on Fox’s website to see that the political obsessions and biases expressed by Fox anchors is mirrored by their viewers. These are just a few of the vile outbursts on their Orlando article:

foxnews-comments-orlando-terror

Watch Tucker Carlson and his nauseating friends on Fox News:

Fox News Inspired Terrorist Gets Probation For Plotting To Massacre Muslim-Americans

In May of last year a radical Christian extremist was arrested for plotting a terrorist attack on a community of peaceful Muslims in upstate New York. Robert Doggart, an ordained minister in the Christian National Church, pleaded guilty to a detailed plan to kill people and destroy buildings, churches and schools. Fox News, however, failed to report this story because any terrorist who isn’t Muslim or otherwise dark-skinned isn’t worthy of coverage.

Fox News

Doggart, whose original guilty plea was rejected by the judge (who filed new, more serious indictments against him), has been free on bond ever since and his case is still pending. However, a comrade in arms, William Tore Tint, has just pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from the same activities as well as lying to FBI investigators. Tint was recorded plotting with Doggart to kill people and burn down buildings. Following his plea Tint was sentenced to only three years probation.

Neither of these stories were reported by Fox News. That in itself may not be surprising as Fox doesn’t regard any terrorism committed by white Christians, or anyone other than Muslims, to be newsworthy. In fact, they don’t even regard it as terrorism. What makes this extraordinary is that Fox News likely served as an inspiration for the crime.

You have to ask where Doggart and Tint got the groundless notion that the residents of Islamberg were jihadists in training. In January of 2015 Bill O’Reilly hosted Ryan Mauro, a “national security analyst” who claimed that Muslims were forming “no-go zones” in the United States where they would train and launch domestic attacks. These claims were never substantiated by credible sources in law enforcement, and the organizations to which Mauro belonged were well known anti-Islamic propagandists. These views were repeated on Fox News by other anchors and pundits across the Fox schedule for weeks.

This is not the only time that Fox News has inspired terrorism. Last year a San Diego man pleaded guilty to a charge of making a criminal threat directed at the offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. His lawyer offered a defense that included the claim that he had problems with alcohol, anxiety and depression and had just finished watching a week of Fox News coverage on the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. Two years ago an Indiana man pleaded guilty to arson for having set fire to an Islamic Center in Toledo, Ohio. When the judge asked him if he knew any Muslims or what Islam is he said “No, I only know what I hear on Fox News.”

If any of these criminals were dark-skinned Muslims Fox News would be running video of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan non-stop. They would be ratcheting up the Islamophobia across every program on the network. And they would be frightening their viewers with unfounded generalizations about imminent doom. Of course Donald Trump would be tweeting up a storm and blaming it all on President Obama. But since these were white Christians it wasn’t even worth a mention between segments on summer barbecues and Hooters.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Terrorist Color Chart Fox News

John Kerry Rips Donald Trump’s ‘Unbelievable Contemptuous Ignorance’ On Climate Change

The Republican Party long ago committed itself to a position on climate change that is at odds with reality. The question is settled with 97 percent of the scientists who study the subject agreeing that climate change is occurring and that it is caused by human activities. But that hasn’t stopped faith-based GOP politicians, with help from the Fox News propaganda machine, from rejecting the voluminous data validating the unprecedented scientific consensus.

John Kerry

Leading the brigade of science deniers is the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump. In a widely ridiculed comment he called climate change a hoax that “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He advocates anti-environment policies such as eliminating regulations on energy exploration and production, opening up federal lands to oil drilling, and building the KeystoneXL pipeline. He promises to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which he thought was called the Department of Environmental (DEP?). And most recently he said that he would rip up the United Nations’ historic Paris climate agreement that currently has 177 signatories.

Responding to Trump’s attack on the Paris accords, Secretary of State John Kerry was interviewed on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes (video below). He did not mince words when asked about Trump’s hostility toward the international effort to mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change:

“Ripping up the climate agreement that was reached in Paris would be reckless, counterproductive, self-destructive. It would be an act of extraordinary danger to our country because of the path it would put us on both in terms of our global leadership on the issue as well as the actual policies we need to implement and it would in the end be an act of ignorance, of utter unbelievable contemptuous ignorance to get rid of something that the world has worked for since 1992 in Rio.”

Kerry didn’t stop there. He addressed the fact that each of the past years and decades marked record highs in global warming and were each hotter than those that preceded them, poignantly noting that “Somewhere people ought to be catching on to what is happening.” Along with the obvious and harmful impact of rising temperatures and sea levels, there is an alarming threat to national security. Kerry summarized this threat saying:

“Refugees that are being created in various parts of the world as a result of lack of water, or fights over food, or the fact that they have to move from where they live today. To talk about casually, without even understanding the work that has gone into it or the rationale for it, ripping it up would be one of the most reckless irresponsible, historically wrong acts I can think of.”

Conservative opponents of environmental reforms frequently try to belittle proponents as prioritizing climate change over terrorism. Of course, there is no reason why both issues cannot be tackled simultaneously. More to the point though, climate change actually is a more ominous threat that has the potential to instigate bloody wars and wipe out billions of people. Terrorism is unquestionably a tragic reality that requires a determined effort to defeat, but it does not approach the scale of climate change for global disaster. This was realized by no less a figure of right-wing stature than former George W. Bush defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. The Rolling Stone published a comprehensive examination of “The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk,” that cited Rumsfeld:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.”

OK? So now the climate-hoaxers cannot simply blame Obama and his socialist cabal of Sharia lawyers for inventing the crisis. Sources as deeply ingrained in the rightist dregs of warhawk free-marketism as Rumsfeld and Bush warned of the very same threat. In fact, four of the past Secretaries of Defense (Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that Climate Change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And three of the four are Republicans.

That leaves Donald Trump and his ilk to be the standard bearers of an utterly delusional rejection of the dangers that face a planet that is rapidly heating up, both in terms of temperature and hostility. Kerry characterized Trump’s denialism perfectly by labeling it reckless and ignorant. Unfortunately the Republican Party is now Trump’s plaything and they can be expected to wholly embrace his ignorance with enthusiasm and obedient blindness.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The Fox News Audience Wants To Bomb An American City Because – MUSLIMS!

As the Republican primary campaign continues its march to their summer revival meeting (aka convention), the rising temperature of hostility threatens to leave the party in ashes. We have already seen Donald Trump warn that if he is denied the nomination that he considers his birthright there will be riots. Not to be outdone, Ted Cruz raised the specter of revolt if he is passed over.

Fox News

The lingering stench of violence that hovers over the GOP this election year is a constant reminder that the party that worships the Second Amendment is fully prepared to use force to achieve their ends, even against those who would otherwise be considered their ideological allies. So just imagine how they would treat those they regard as enemies.

Sadly, no imagination is required as the misanthropes of the right are not shy about revealing their barbaric side. A recent segment on Fox News was sufficient to draw out their inbred hatred toward fellow Americans that don’t happen to look like them. In this case it was a community in Michigan with a predominately Muslim population. An openly biased Fox correspondent, Pete Hegseth, visited the city of Hamtramck to interview the residents about how awful it is to live among heathens. But that isn’t the worst part of the story.

On the Fox News Facebook page that posted the video of the segment, commenters lived up to their reputation for bigotry and brutality. They went beyond merely insulting the peaceful citizens of Hamtramck to calling for this American city to be bombed and its people eradicated. For example…

  • “Soon we will find it necessary to start dropping bombs in towns like this.”
  • “Since Obama can’t seem to identifytargets before he sends our pilots out to drop bombs, maybe tey should practice on Hamtramck and the mosque they built in Maryland!”
  • “We need a radical militia in America to snuff these Islamic toe holds out.”
  • “So we know the coordinates to drop the next a-bomb. What’s the problem?”
  • “Put them all in the same place like that city and drop a big bomb on it.”
  • “I can’t believe we’re letting Obama get away with this. Soon it will be Obama’s folly. I see a day when we start rounding them up and forcing them out or killing them.”
  • “Drop a bomb. Be done with these barbaric savages. Disgusting.”
  • “Now we know where to drop the bomb first Detroit is already a shithole.”
  • “They spread like roaches, then the only way to get rid of the infestation is to bomb the area.”
  • “Blow the town up with a smart bomb , made to hurt the muslims only.”
  • “Kill all Muslims before they kill you they are not your friends.”

Remember, these comments are being directed at people who love America and condemn terrorism. The grotesque character (or lack thereof) of the Fox audience has been documented in detail in The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox News Community. It is evidence of the breadth of animus that infects so much of the conservative movement for which Fox speaks. They are literally taking sides with ISIS and Al Qaeda, who also want to bomb American cities.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

And it also explains why hostile demagogues like Trump can rise to become leaders in their party while advocating violence. Anyone who is surprised by the incidents at Trump rallies, or his hateful rhetoric that encourages it, is terminally naive. This is the modern Republican Party. And the eagerness of American bigots to bomb fellow citizens living peacefully in an American city is a sad indication of just how low these cretins have sunk.

How Fox News Uses Visual Messaging To Keep Their Audience Dumb And Angry

If there is one thing that Fox News is determined to do, it’s to make sure that their audience is fed a constant stream of lies. Their purpose is to insure that they are incapable of understanding the real world around them and remain in a perpetual state of outrage over the falsehoods that Fox disseminates.

Fox Nation

Case in point: Today’s headline story on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation blasted the lede that “‘Our Openness To Refugees’ Is How We Fight ISIS: Obama Reiterates Pledge to Bring In 100,000 Muslim Refugees” There is so much wrong with both the text and the image associated with it that it requires a detailed analysis.

First of all, notice that the picture juxtaposes President Obama with a band of ISIS terrorists in a manner that nearly suggests he is leading their mission. That obvious bit of visual messaging aims to create an impression of Obama as a traitor who is aligned with the enemy. The allegation that Obama, or other Democrats and liberals, are terrorist sympathizers or worse is one that has been expressed explicitly by Fox News hosts, contributors, and guests. Just this weekend, Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox to declare that Hillary Clinton could be considered a founding member of ISIS.

Additionally, the use of ISIS fighters in the image is a distortion of the accompanying text in that the story is about refugees, not terrorists. But Fox deliberately chose not to use refugees in the picture. By using ISIS fighters they imply that the refugees themselves are terrorists, which in fact is what Fox and other conservatives believe. That is their justification for opposing the humanitarian admittance of refugees into the U.S. And it mirrors the official positions of the two leading Republican candidates for president. Donald Trump has been saying for weeks that he would prohibit any Muslims from entering the country, while Ted Cruz has proposed surveilling the ones already here.

For the full measure of just how deplorable that message is you have to understand that the refugees are the victims of the terrorists. That’s why they are seeking asylum in the U.S. and elsewhere. What Fox is saying is akin to associating Jews with the Nazis who tortured and murdered them. If Fox News, Trump, Cruz, et al, were around in the 1940s they would have called the Jews potential terrorists and forced them to remain in the region were they were being slaughtered.

Next we’ll look at the the headline on the article which purports to be quoting the President. But contrary to Fox’s account, Obama did not say that “‘our openness to refugees’ is how we fight ISIS.” What he said was that our openness to refugees is “another weapon alongside our airstrikes, our counter-terrorism work, and our diplomacy.” That’s an important distinction in that the humane treatment of refugees is just one part of a broader strategy to defeat the enemy militarily while also undermining their propaganda campaign. The Fox News, right-wing plan to insult our Muslim allies and stigmatize Muslim Americans will only help the enemy recruit new fighters. That’s the message Obama gave in his weekly address. He said in part (video below):

“As we move forward in this fight, we have to wield another weapon alongside our airstrikes, our counter-terrorism work, and our diplomacy. And that’s the power of our example. Our openness to refugees fleeing ISIL’s violence; our determination to win the battle against ISIL’s hateful and violent propaganda — a distorted view of Islam that aims to radicalize young Muslims to their cause.” In that effort, our most important partners are American Muslims. That’s why we have to reject any attempt to stigmatize Muslim Americans and their enormous contribution to our country and our way of life. Such attempts are contrary to our character, to our values, and to our history as a country built around the idea of religious freedom. It’s also counter-productive. It plays right into the hands of terrorists who want to turn us against one another.

Finally, the headline on the article also lies about the President’s efforts to rescue refugees by saying that he is proposing to admit 100,000 refugees (Trump, in his pathologically lying way, has escalated that to 250,000). However, the current plans call for admitting 10,000, so Fox is only off by 90%. But misinforming their audience on this matter plays right into their continuing effort to demonize the refugees and make Americans afraid of an imaginary horde of potential suicide bombers. The truth is that entering the U.S. as a refugee is perhaps the most difficult path to entry. It takes going through a rigorous array of inspections that can take years to complete. Why would a terrorist subject himself to a process that takes so long and is likely to result in his capture?

That’s a question that Fox News will never bother to address because they are only interested in portraying refugees as clandestine evildoers. And it’s why they construct these graphical lies in order to deceive their all too willingly ignorant audience. Keeping them dumb and angry is the core mission of the Fox News cultists.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Hey Fox News, Donald Trump, And All You Other Gutless Republicans: Stop Helping ISIS

One of the first reactions to the tragic bombings in Brussels came from conservative pundits and politicians who berated President Obama for being in Cuba and sticking to his scheduled activities. They were outraged that the President didn’t drop everything and hightail it back to Washington so that he could…

Well, I’m not sure what they thought he could do there that he couldn’t do from Cuba. Still, for some reason they thought he should have tucked his tail between his legs and scurried back to D.C. In the 21st century the notion that a president has to be in the Oval Office for anything to get done is ludicrous. A few years ago Obama was delivering a hilarious address at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner while Seal Team 6 was disposing of Osama Bin Laden. The mission was ordered, engaged, and in progress without the President chained to his desk. And it was an undeniable success. But to the Fox News crowd America is being let down unless terrorists get to decide where our president should be. And if the President isn’t as rash and irrational as wingnuts think he ought to be, the terrorists win.

That’s the sort of defeatist rhetoric that makes life easier for terrorists. They know that they can’t beat the United States in a military battle, so they engage in acts of terror whose only purpose is to spread fear in the West and to promote recruitment to their cause among extremist Muslims. Of course, they don’t have any governmental infrastructure or media apparatus so they depend on the private press to promote their activities. And like every other public relations campaign, the more press coverage they get, the better for their cause.

Fox News ISIS Flag

That’s why the President was right to stay in Cuba and continue with his historic visit, including a baseball game between the Cuban national team and the Tampa Bay Rays. Obama himself put it clearly in remarks to ESPN:

“The whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives. […] What they can do is scare, and make people afraid and disrupt our daily lives and divide us. And as long as we don’t allow that to happen, we’re gonna be okay.”

Exactly. So why don’t conservatives get it? The truth is, they probably do, but they would rather scold the President for invented misdeeds than to admit that he is demonstrating strength, wisdom, and representing the nation’s best interests.

People need to realize that these heinous bombings are intended by the terrorists to inflame emotions and draw Western powers into a quagmire on their battlefield. And as if to validate that goal, war hawks among American conservatives are falling for the tactic and calling for an increased military presence in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. Donald Trump is even arguing that the U.S. should adopt the tactics of the terrorists in order to fight them on their own terms. He said that…

“I think we have to change our law on, you know, the waterboarding thing, and they can chop off heads, and they can drown people in cages, in heavy steel cages, and we can’t waterboard. So we have to change our laws and we have to be able to fight on an almost equal basis.”

Fighting on an equal basis as terrorists lowers us to their level. It obliterates any moral authority we might have. Trump is an ignorant cretin who can’t grasp the simple concept that America is only worth fighting for because of the principles we embrace. Resorting to the sort of savagery that is embodied by terrorism, including waterboarding and carpet bombing, makes us no better than the enemy and not worthy of defending. Not to mention that it is precisely what the terrorists want. The more they can portray us as the ruthless ones, the more converts they can acquire. Adopting their methods is a dangerous submission to the will of the enemy. Why would anyone want to give the terrorists exactly what they are hoping for? That used to be called treason.

In the process of castigating Obama with their knee-jerk criticisms, conservatives are demeaning not just the President, but the whole country. They make public statements that disparage our military and our resolve to be victorious. That must go over pretty well with the leaders of ISIS and Al Qaeda. When American senators and news commentators characterize our side as “weak” and “losers” it emboldens our enemies and invites them to escalate their attacks. It is also a blatant lie. What these traitors are forgetting (or not bothering to learn) is that…

Since the beginning of the American-led air campaign against ISIS, the coalition has launched 8,000 airstrikes and dropped about 28,000 bombs on ISIS sites in Iraq and Syria. In other words, we’ve been launching about 17 airstrikes and dropping 60 bombs per day. Every day. For over a year.”

These missions have seriously degraded the capabilities of the enemy, including killing more than half of their top commanders. ISIS has lost 40% of the territory it once held in Iraq. A recent U.S. airstrike killed more than 150 terrorists at a Somalia camp. Critical ISIS figures such as Abu Salah, their financial chief in charge of its extortion activities, Hajji Mutazz, a deputy to the leader of ISIS, and chemical weapons expert, Abu Malik, have all been killed in recent actions. Clearly, anyone observing the available facts can see that there is a concerted effort to defeat these enemies. So the political distortions from the right are a dishonest campaign to harm Obama, and by extension the country.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

None of this is meant to diminish the genuine harm done by barbarians who have no respect for humanity. But it serves no purpose to give them the free advertising they crave. We are fulfilling their desires when we help them to spread fear and to foment despair. The only sane way to react to these events is to acknowledge that they occurred and then stop obsessing over them. Then we can conduct our retaliatory response calmly and decisively. But by no means should we panic, tear out our hair, and give the enemy the impression (and satisfaction) that they have crushed our spirit and won a victory.

President Obama At Cuban Baseball Game

WTF? Donald Trump’s Plan To Prevent Terrorism: Give America A Pep Talk?!

The news from Belgium overnight is a disturbing new chapter in the war against international terrorism. These incidents are too frequent and cause too much misery for the victims and their families, while serving no purpose other than to incite fear. Unfortunately, with news of this nature there also comes the inevitable opportunists who see it as their chance to advance some self-serving agenda. And first in line for that sick exploitation this morning is Fox News and Donald Trump.

Donald Trump

The Kurvy Kouch Potatoes at Fox and Friends wasted no time in getting Donald Trump on the phone to offer his uniquely idiotic and wholly vacant opinions on the Brussels tragedy. Yet even in this friendly setting, every time Trump was asked what he would do under these circumstances, he dodged the question entirely and resorted to spinning his dystopian perception of the world as a terrorist infested hell hole. In more than thirteen minutes he didn’t present a single policy proposal to address the problem other than curtailing immigration and building walls. However, he did have delusions about bad guys with fake passports who are coming into our country by the thousands. Add to that his disseminating long-debunked falsehoods about no-go zones in Paris and Brussels, and his general dismissal of all counter-terrorism measures currently in place, and you have a stew of dangerous ignorance seasoned with rancid hatred and buckets of fear.

The exchanges Trump had with his Fox pals were so embarrassingly meaningless that even the hosts seemed to struggle to get Trump say something – anything – intelligible. They tried asking him the same question multiple times to pry an answer out of him, but still failed to do so. That was when they weren’t making fools of themselves by lobbing softballs like when Brian Kilmeade wanted to know if Trump thought his assessment of Brussels was right. Trump answered “Of course I’m right.” Now that’s journalism. And it was quickly followed by Ainsley Earhardt asking Trump to comment as a businessman “because the market are down […] what happens now from a business perspective?” Trump answered “I think this whole thing will get worse as time goes by. It’s being perpetrated now all over the place.” Note: The markets in the U.S. and Europe were mostly up today (Dow, S&P, FTSE, Euronext, CAC, DAX).

That nonsense is just the start of the foray into fiction for which both Fox and Trump are known. At one point Trump bragged that “I’ve been talking about this for a long time, and look at Brussels. Brussels was a beautiful city, a beautiful place with zero crime, and now it’s a disaster city.” Well except for the fact that Brussels not only has had crime, like any other city, but terrorism as well. For instance, in March of 2012, there was an attack on a Shia mosque. In June of 2012, two Belgian police officers were stabbed in a subway station. In May of 2014, a shooter killed four individuals at the Brussels Jewish Museum. But other than that.

Here are a few other choice moments from the Trump interview:

Earhardt: If you were to become president and were in a situation like this, what would you do to protect America?
Trump: Well, again, I think I’ve said it. I would close up our borders to people until we figure out what is going on. Look at Brussels, look at Paris, look at so many cities that were great cities.

Since Trump has already said that closing the borders would be among the first things he would do as president, then presumably they would already be closed if a situation like this occurred. So what’s his answer to the question? Close the borders harder? And there was this:

Kilmeade: The key to unwinding the issue is getting the Muslim community to trust us and the government more than they do maybe people in their own community. How do you do that?
Trump: Well you need to have, I mean you need to be very vigilant as to who you have and where they’re coming from. You have to look at people and look at their backgrounds so closely. But this is a story that seems to be more and more happening.

Did I miss something? He didn’t address at all the question of how he would get Muslims to trust the government so that they might help to prevent terror attacks. Undaunted, Kilmeade tried again:

Kilmeade: A lot of people listening right now might be misinterpreting your message, in the past and currently, that you have a problem with Muslims. You don’t have a problem with Muslims, in fact you just hired one, Walid Phares, to work for you. So how do you want to win over the trust of the Muslim community who want to be Americans, who are good citizens, and get them to oust the terrorists amongst them? How does Donald Trump do that?
Trump: Well that’s one of the things. They’re very untrusting of people other than Muslims. […] That community doesn’t believe in reporting. They know exactly what’s going on and they don’t believe in reporting to the police.

First of all, Walid Phares, a Fox News analyst, is a Christian, not a Muslim. Secondly, it was nice for Kilmeade to answer his own question for Trump on the matter of his “problem with Muslims.” But Trump’s answer once again avoided any response to the question of attaining the trust of Muslims. To the contrary, he just maligned them as willing accomplices to any terrorist act. But Kilmeade was unusually persistent:

Kilmeade: So what’s your message to them?
Trump: My message is not to them. My message to us is we better get smart and we better get smart fast.

And that’s the kind of substantive proposal that will surely put an end to terrorism for all time. Why didn’t anyone think of that sooner? A little later Trump did come up with a message for American Muslims:

Trump: My message to them is they have to be more open with police. They have to become part of the community. They have to let people know when they see people making bombs on the first floor of the apartment. They have to let people know. And they don’t do it. And then the bombs go off and the guns go off and everything happens and you have the situation like like you recently had in California. […] In my opinion this is just gonna get worse and worse because we are lax and we are foolish.

Finally, Trump addressed part of the question. He at least acknowledged that there needs to be some measure of trust between citizens and law enforcement. But he still didn’t offer any suggestions for achieving that. So Kilmeade’s colleague Ainsley Earhardt took a shot at it:

Earhardt: How do you penetrate communities like that? How do you make a difference and make change?
Trump: It’s not for us to penetrate. It’s for them to penetrate. They have to come to us. You know, we’re not the victims here. We’re acting like it’s our fault. That’s the problem with the liberal policies of this country and this world.

We’re not the victims? Does anyone know what he’s talking about? And his assertion that any penetration must be done by members of the Muslim community is downright ludicrous. It is the job of law enforcement to cultivate relations with the community. Trump thinks we should just hang around and wait until informants feel like coming forward without putting in any effort to encourage it. And then there was this:

Doocy: Let’s say you’re President of the United States today [I’d rather not, actually]. Obviously you would have cracked down on immigration to prevent what you were talking about earlier. What else would you do today?
Trump: Well, you know, I guess I would just talk to the people and give them, frankly, a pep talk. You know, we need a pep talk. We need spirit in our country, OK?

I’m not sure I have anything to say about that. Except for: Are people seriously thinking of voting for this imbecile? A PEP talk?! And Trump is just the guy to give one, he’s so positive and inspirational.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

To put a rotting, maggot infested cherry on top of all of this, Fox’s Stuart Varney interviewed Trump’s senior policy advisor, Stephen Miller, and asked him a question that makes a mockery of the tragedy in Brussels by shamelessly politicizing it: “We’ve been saying all morning that this makes Trump look good, because he’s addressed the issue of immigration, specifically Muslim immigration. I take it you agree with that?” Good guess, Stu. And thanks for spending the morning telling your dimwitted viewers that a terrorist attack that has taken the lives of at least thirty-one people, with many more injured, is good news for Donald Trump.

Miller began his response by trying to say that political advantage ought not be a part of the discussion, but he ended saying that his candidate, Trump, had a much better take on this than Ted Cruz. Which led Varney to say:

“I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of you vs. Cruz. I don’t want to do that. This is a solemn day. […] We’ve had an outrage in Europe which will have repercussions on our politics here in America. Stephen, one last question. I take it at the moment Donald Trump is ahead in the polls in Arizona by a substantial amount.”

Did you follow that? First Varney asks a pointedly political question. Then he admonishes his guest for giving a political answer. Then he asks another overtly political question. And with that I have to go lay down. My head is spinning. I’m sure there will be more exploitation of this sad affair as the day goes on. And surely Trump will say some more stupid crap. But I’ve had enough for now. Maybe I need a pep talk.