Special thanks to http://zombietime.com/ and PJTV for bringing it to our attention
Where was the October Surprise?
Almost everyone anticipated this year’s “October Surprise” — some last-minute, unexpected, shocking scandal to rock the presidential election and derail one of the candidates. But it never appeared. In an era of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink gutterball politics, this mysterious absence of any major scandal was itself noteworthy. How could nothing have happened?
Sure, there was Hurricane Sandy. But that doesn’t count. Sandy was a natural disaster that dominated the headlines for a few days, but it wasn’t a scandal. And yes, there was Benghazi. But that happened in early September, and it wasn’t so much a political scandal uncovered by partisan operatives as it was the umpteenth example of Obama’s incompetence. Whatever Benghazi blowback he’s gotten damaging his election chances are entirely his own responsibility for bungling an international crisis. So, no, neither one of those counted as an October Surprise.
Which left many people scratching their heads. Why wasn’t there one? For either candidate?
In Mitt Romney’s case, the answer is pretty obvious: He’s squeaky clean. His entire adult life has been like a boring treatise on Mormon moral rectitude. His political career has long been an open book — moderate, bipartisan, essentially uneventful. The Democrats have tried to squeeze some droplets of outrage over Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, but those attacks came earlier in the summer and turned out to be extremely slim pickin’s. There are no skeletons in Romney’s closet, otherwise we would have heard about them.
But in Barack Obama’s case, the situation is reversed: Everything he’s ever done is scandalous. The reason there was no October Surprise for Obama is that we’re all scandaled out. Anyone’s who been paying attention since 2008 has literally been in paralytic shock every single day. We spent October 2012 exactly as we’ve spent every month of the last four years: Our jaws on the floor, aghast, stupefied, unable to breathe. Almost every single thing Obama has done since he’s been in the national spotlight could have been and should have been a career-ending October Surprise. But the mainstream media, as we all know, has devoted itself to protecting him.
Not a day has gone by since Obama took office when I didn’t learn of some fresh outrage and say Oh. My. God.But we’ve been traumatized so often that over time the scandals have all blurred together and fused into a single red-hot thought: Please let this nightmare end.
A complete recounting of Obama’s shoulda-been October Surprises would fill a book, an encyclopedia, an entire library. But I think this is a good time to initiate a crowd-sourced list of everything Obama has done since 2008 (and every fact about his earlier life that emerged since 2008) which you thought was scandalous, shocking or outrageous. Just for the record, let’s remind the world that every freakin’ day for the last four years has been an October Surprise.
I’ll get the ball rolling with a few scandalous deeds and facts which occur to me at the moment, but this list will primarily come from you, the readers. In the comments section below, mention anything and everything that you believe should have ruined Obama politically (if the media had been doing its job). From the big to the small, from the recent to the distant, dig deep in your memory and just let it all out, like political primal scream therapy.
I’ll continuously update the list as best as I can to include whatever gets mentioned by the commenters.
Ready? Let the collective scream begin!
The Complete List of Barack Obama’s Scandals, Misdeeds, Crimes and Blunders
• $6 trillion in new national debt under Obama…after he promised to decrease the deficit.
• Obamacare — A massive and incredibly convoluted bill which exponentially increases the federal government’s control over our personal lives…which neither Obama nor a single Democrat even read before passing, and which will likely bankrupt the nation.
• In both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, the Obama campaign purposely disabled the credit card verification system for its Web site donations, allowing anyone from any foreign country to donate with no limit and no proof of identity; in both elections it was demonstrated that people overseas and people with obviously false identities were able to donate to Obama campaign, in direct violation of several laws. To this day it is not known what percentage of Obama’s campaign funds are illegally obtained, since there is no documentation.
• Billions of taxpayer dollars gambled on “green” companies like Solyndra, NextEra, Ener1, Solar Trust and many others — all of which went bankrupt.
• An intentional refusal to enforce federal immigration laws.
• Unemployment at or above 8% for almost his entire term in office (which was actually closer to 15% actual unemployment).
• Operation Fast & Furious — a government-sponsored illegal gun-running scheme designed to purposely go awry so as to induce public outcry for gun control.
• Spent 20 years listening to a racist anti-American pastor (Rev. Jeremiah Wright), whom Obama described as a mentor. On March 18, 2008, Obama gave a speech in which he said “I could no more disown Jeremiah Wright than I could disown my own grandmother” and “[Wright’s church, Trinity United] embodies the black community in its entirety.” Now Obama tries to pretend that Jeremiah Wright doesn’t exist, and that his extremist anti-white philosophy didn’t influence Obama’s worldview.
• Increased the percentage of Americans dependent on food stamps to unprecedented levels (now over 15% of the nation’s population).
• Militarily intervened in Libya in 2011 without the Congressional approval required by the War Powers Act — technically an impeachable offense.
• Before he entered politics, Obama worked as a lawyer suing banks in landmark cases, forcing them to give home loans to unqualified minority borrowers — a practice now understood as one of the primary initial causes of the eventual housing bubble and market collapse.
• Handed out over 1,200 waivers to politically connected donors exempting them from the onerous requirements of Obamacare.
• Greatly expanding the number of unaccountable “czars,” which essentially amounts to unilaterally adding new federal departments with no congressional oversight — leading to a true “bureaucracy” in the original sense (rule by unelected bureaucrats).
• Using taxpayer dollars to bail out the private pension funds of autoworkers’ unions at GM & Chrysler.
• Illegally ending the welfare-to-work requirements passed by Congress.
• Doling out $800 billion in stimulus cash for “shovel-ready” jobs that didn’t exist — the money just evaporated with no measurable economic benefit.
• Alienating and isolating Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East.
• Apologizing to Islamists and terrorists for offending them.
• Under Obama’s watch, for the first time in history America’s credit rating was downgraded, due to his poor economic policies.
• Stopped American oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, allowing other nations with worse environmental records to drill instead — thereby managing to both weaken our economy and damage the environment simultaneously.
• Proposed in 2008 to intentionally bankrupt the coal industry — and now lies to voters and workers in coal-producing regions about his true intent.
• Pretends to be concerned about skyrocketing energy prices, when in fact he vowed to increase them on purpose (so as to make alternative energy schemes more competitive.)
• In a primary debate against Hillary Clinton in 2008, Obama said he would never force people to buy health insurance, since those without it couldn’t afford to buy it. Less than two years later, he rammed through Obamacare, which does indeed force people to buy health insurance.
• During the 2008 campaign, Obama repeatedly promised that if he was elected “No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase.” This promise was broken over and over again once he was elected.
• In 2008 Obama vowed if elected to increase security along the U.S.-Mexican border — and then in 2010 stopped construction of a “virtual fence” on the border and re-routed money earmarked for border security to other projects.
• Cash for Clunkers, which doled out taxpayer money to anyone who wanted to replace their old cars, but which mostly only ended up subsidizing the puchase of foreign-made cars by people who could have afforded them on their own anyway; meanwhile, the traded-in cars were all destroyed, creating a shortage and thereby increasing the cost of used cars, hurting the pocketbooks of poor people.
• Violated the U.S. Constitution by authorizing assassinations and drone strikes to kill American citizens abroad — without due process.
• Was caught on a “hot mike” promising the President of Russia that he would cave in to their demands for a weaker missile shield — after he was re-elected and no longer had to keep up the pretense that he sought to defend America.
• Appointed Van Jones, a former avowed communist who supported a “9/11 Truth” petition, to be “Green Jobs Czar.”
• Appointed Anita Dunn, who said Chairman Mao was her “favorite philosopher,” to be White House Communications Director.
• Appointed John Holdren, who perviously entertained the notion of forced mass sterilzation to stop overpopulation, to be Science Czar.
• Appointed Steven Chu, who openly advocated an artificial increase in gasoline prices to $10/gallon (and similar increases in other energy prices) to be Secretary of Energy.
• Appointed Kevin Jennings, who led a group that promoted X-rated “sex-positive” textbooks for 13-year-olds, instructed teenagers at a conference how to perform “fisting” (anal penetration by fists), who refused to report instances of statutory rape, and who expressed admiration for a member of NAMBLA, to be America’s “Safe School’s Czar.”
• When states voted to enforce the federal immigration laws which the federal government refused to enforced, Obama sued to stop them.
• Blocked continued construction of the Keystone Pipeline, thereby intentionally reducing energy resources for the US and forcing Canada to sell more of its oil to China.
• Repeatedly changed his position on gay marriage over the years, depending on what was politically expedient at the moment and which intended audience he was addressing.
• Before he was president, Obama staunchly opposed raising the national debt limit — but once elected, he insisted that it be raised.
• When giving a 2009 speech in France that he must have assumed Americans would never hear, he described the United States as “arrogant” and “dismissive” (while also criticizing Europe elsewhere in the speech).
• When states tried to stop election fraud with voter ID laws, Obama sued to prevent them from doing so.
• Instructed Attorney General Eric Holder to stonewall any investigation into the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panthers.
• Promised in 2008 that once elected he would officially recognize the Armenian Genocide; but to this date he has still failed to do so, caving in to threats and pressure from Turkey.
• Vowed to end the influence of lobbyists in Washington, but under Obama’s watch their influence has only increased.
• When he was first running for President, Obama promised, “I will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.” Needless to say, he has broken that promise with almost every bill he has signed since.
• Aided and abetted the “Arab Spring” which deposed existing secular governments across North Africa, leading to a regional power vacuum which was filled by Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other hardline Islamists.
• Refused to provide assistance or support the the earlier secular Iranian democracy uprising, allowing them to be crushed by the Islamic fundamentalist Iranian regime.
• In his first months in office, Obama bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia, the president of China, the Emperor of Japan, and President of Mexico, among others.
• Ordered NASA to make one of its top priorities not space exploration or scientific research but “Muslim outreach.”
• Used Obamacare as a pretext to greatly increase the size and power of the IRS (which was given 16,000 new agents and additional mandates to penalize taxpayers for noncompliance).
• Used the IRS to harass conservative businesses.
• In the GM bailout, he illegally shortchanged investors who according to bankruptcy laws were first in line to be recompensed; instead, he gave their share to the unions.
• Shut down oil drilling in the US, but then turned around and lent $2 billion to Brazil to support their government-controlled oil-drilling effort — and then promised the US would become one of Brazil’s biggest oil customers.
• Sued Boeing in an effort to control where businesses could locate, kowtow to the unions, and block the creation of 1,000 jobs in South Carolina, a right-to-work (i.e. no forced unionization) state.
• Adopted a longstanding Socialist political slogan, “Forward!”, as his 2012 campaign motto.
• Sent insulting form letters to the familes of dead SEALs.
• Neither disavowed nor distanced himself from anti-Romney campaign ads which threatened or implied violence against Republicans.
• Shortly after the recent eruption of anti-American violence in North Africa, Obama went to Las Vegas to do his debate preparation in a hotel…with a romanticized North Africa theme.
• Said in an interview that the Muslim call to prayer was “one of the prettiest sounds on earth at sunset.”
• Union boss and far-left activist Andy Stern has visitied Obama in the White House at least 53 times, at last count — greater access than any other private citizen.
• Hosted at the White House many Islamist members of groups associated with Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, etc.
• Sponsored performances by and attended fundraisers with radical rappers like Michael Franti and Common, both of whose lyrics have in some cases been anti-police, anti-white, and anti-America.
• Hired Timothy Geithner, who is documented as cheating on his own personal taxes, to be Secretary of the Treasury.
• Told Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher that it was good to “spread the wealth around.”
• Told small business owners nationwide in a 2012 speech that “you didn’t build that” — implying that they should not claim credit for their own success, since taxpayers (i.e. themselves and other business owners) had funded the national infrastructure.
• Insulted the British people by rudely returning to them a bust of Churchill which previously had been a ceremonial gift on display at the White House; when later confronted on this inexplicable action, he lied about it.
• Canceled plans to complete a missile defense shield in Poland, a move which was highly praised by Russia — the very nation whose missile threat would have been neutralized if the shield had been completed.
• By loudly publicizing (for personal political gain) the identity of exact SEAL teams who had killed Osama bin Laden, Obama made them a target for reprisals by Islamists; a short time later 22 SEALS were shot down and killed in Afghanistan, their worst loss of life ever.
• Established an extra-Constitutional top secret “kill list” of people (including Americans) Obama claims the right to kill on sight, and then bragged about it publicly.
• Set up a special email account, “Flag@Whitehouse.gov,” to which Americans were supposed to inform the government of anyone they heard spreading “disinformation” about Obama’s health care overhaul. (This was the first of three different “spy on your friends and neighbors” programs.)
• “Attack Watch” was Obama’s second Big Brother attempt, a Web site on which you would report “attacks” on Obama’s proposals and ideology; it was quickly shut down due to outrage and mockery.
• Finally, Obama set up the “Truth Team” program which encouraged citizens to report to the government any friends or relatives they hear repeating “lies” about Obama. The Truth Team site still exists.
• Twisted the arms of defense contractors to not issue layoff notices in early November, so as to avoid causing bad news for Obama right before the election — even though federal law (the “WARN Act”) requires such notices.
• After the attacks on American interests in North Africa on September 11, 2012, Obama gave a speech to the U.N. and declared “The future must not belong to those who slander The Prophet of Islam” — transferring the blame from the attackers onto the makers of a film trailer that supposedly “offended” the Islamists.
• Repeatedly snubbed and got into public tiffs with Benjamin Netanyahu, who as the leader of Israel is supposedto be Obama’s closest colleague in international affairs.
• On May 19, 2011, Obama told Israel they must return to the 1967 borders as a pre-condition for continuing talks with the Palestinians — even though the status of the borders was the main issue the talks were supposed to address.
• Encouraged politically biased hiring practices in the Justice Department.
• Soon after taking office, Obama rescinded the “Mexico City Policy,” which previously had banned NGOs which are supported by American taxpayer funds from using those funds to perform abortions in foreign countries.
• Attempted to force returning veterans to pay huge increases for their health coverage…as a way to generate more funding for his Obamacare provisions.
• In June of 2011, he anointed his own underage daughters as “senior staff members” so that their vacation to Africa would be paid for with taxpayer money.
• Interviews with high school classmates revealed that Obama was a heavy and frequent user of marijuana in his teenage years (not to mention his self-admitted cocaine use in college).
• Played over 100 rounds of golf during his first three years in office, meaning that he was on the links close to 10% of the days he has been president.
• Voted to allow post-birth abortions (i.e. facilitating the deaths of babies who survive late-term abortions) not just once but three times in a row as an Illinois state senator.
• The pastor whom Obama selected to give the national benediction at his 2009 inauguration recently declared that “all white people are going to Hell.”
• Sided with Hugo Chavez and the Castro regime regarding the Honduran Constitutional Crisis of 2009, the first time ever that the U.S. formed a political alliance with socialist governments in Latin America.
• Obama Administration OKed the nomination of Chas Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council (which coordinates intelligence reports from all government agencies), despite the fact that he was openly hostile to Israel and strongly favored Arabist goals. (He later withdrew under pressure.)
• Chinese pianist Lang Lang played an offensively anti-American song at a 2011 White House dinner where Obama hosted Chinese president Hu Jintao, to the delight and amazement of the communist Chinese visitors, while Obama just sat there and smiled (the song’s Chinese lyrics describe Americans as “warmongering jackals”).
• There was a great deal of (still unverified) suspicion that the company LightSquared received favorable treatment from the Obama administration for approval of its broadband technology which interfered with the GPS system; an Air Force general claimed he was pressured by the Obama administration to downplay his criticism of LightSquared’s technology in sworn testimony.
• Obama’s Department of Energy awarded $529 million to Fisker Automotive to build their Karma hybrid electric cars — even though they are manufactured in Finland, cost over $100,000 each, and tend to explode.
• When Inspector General Gerald Walpin discovered during a 2009 investigation that one of Obama’s political allies (the mayor of Sacramento) was misusing government funds for personal gain, Obama unceremoniously fired Walpin — even though rooting out fraud was the job description of the Inspector General.
• More than once Obama made so-called “recess appointments” when the Senate was not actually in recess, which directly violates Constitutional rules about how appointments must be made; in each case it was his way of getting his political allies into certain key positions without them being vetted or approved by the Senate, as required.
• After Nidal Malik Hasan massacred 13 people at Fort Hood while shouting “Allahu Akbar” so as to become a martyr for Islam, the Obama administration refused to classify his action as “terrorism” and instead deemed it merely “workplace violence.”
• Despite the fact that the Falkland Islands have been part of Great Britain since 1833 and that Great Britain is supposed to be our strongest ally, Obama essentially sided with Argentina in its new claim on the Falklands, not only by adopting the Argentine position that their status is open to negotiation, but even by (attempting to) refer to the islands by their Spanish name (Malvinas).
• Convened the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (a.k.a. the Simpson-Bowles commission) in order to address a major economic crisis…and then summarily dismissed and ignored their recommendations.
• Criticized the Supreme Court’s legal reasoning (about the Citizen’s United decision) during a State of the Union address, which many considered a dangerous precedent as it appeared to place political pressure on the court, violating the Constitution’s separation of powers; but his bullying seems to have later paid off, when the Supreme Court apparently altered its Obamacare decision so as to not ruffle any political feathers.
• On April 27, 2009, Obama’s staff (possibly at his direction) ordered Air Force One to make an unnecessary very low flight over part of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, which many residents mistakenly assumed must be a second 9/11 attack in progress; turned out that it was just a stunt to get a photo op of Obama’s plane next to the Statue of Liberty.
• Obama somehow managed to insert mentions of himself into the official biographies of earlier presidents on the White House Web site — even presidents from the 19th century. After public outcry, the narcissistic Obama mentions were quietly removed without comment.
• Intentionally misquotes the Declaration of Independence in speeches, often leaving out the words “by their Creator” in the famous passage “…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” which Obama instead has recited as “…are endowed with certain unalienable rights.”
• In June of 2009, Obama’s Solicitor General (and now Supreme Court Justice) Elena Kagan filed a legal brief to prevent the families of 9/11 victims from appealing their lawsuits against the Saudi royal family for financing the 9/11 attacks.
• The 2009 National Christmas Tree in the White House was decorated with ornaments depicting Chairman Mao, a drag queen, and a picture of Mount Rushmore that included Obama’s own head next to George Washington’s.
• Compelled Catholic and other religious organizations to provide health plans with free contraception, even though such requirements violate their rights of religious freedom and conscience.
• It was revealed only after Obama became president that during the 1990s he was a leading member of the “New Party,” a socialist-aligned far-left radical group in Chicago.
• Lied about his close associations with former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers; pretended the two barely knew each other, when multiple sources document they were friends and close colleagues for years.
• When Obama was inaugurated as President on January 20, 2009, he at first flubbed the oath of office, so he had to re-take it behind closed doors for his inauguration to be valid. He did so, but during this second, true inauguration in private, he purposely failed to place his hand on a Bible, as is traditional — the first president ever to not swear the oath of office on the Bible.
• Obama’s own author bio in his literary agent’s catalog and on their Web site stated for 17 consecutive years that he was born in Kenya; this claim remained intact despite other portions of the bio being altered and updated repeatedly. It was only in 2007 after he decided to run for the presidency that the “born in Kenya” claim was taken down. The original info must necessarily have come from Obama himself; some theorize he likely falsely claimed foreign birth in order to gain admission or scholarships in college, and never bothered to fix his lie.
• After winning the 2008 election but before being sworn in, Obama bombastically concocted the official-seeming “Office of the President-Elect” as if it was some kind of real government department; in fact, it was just a self-congratulatory title he made up to look important before he actually became president.
• Obama administration came up with the bizarre euphemism “man-caused disasters” to describe acts of terrorism — because he wants to downplay terrorism as a significant political issue.
• For three years in a row his official budget proposals to Congress received exactly zero votes — not even a single vote from Democrats.
• Relied on an Islamic fundamentalist militia group called “The Martyrs of the February the 17th Revolution Brigade” to provide security at the American mission in Benghazi — and they not only failed to prevent the attack but perhaps even joined in on it.
• During the debate over Obamacare in 2009, Obama bluntly stated that doctors like to perform amputations rather than practice preventive medicine for no other reason than that they make a greater profit from amputations. The American College of Surgeons demanded an apology, which never arrived.
• Since 2008 the Los Angeles Times has been in possession of a videotape showing Obama honoring and praising anti-Western anti-Israel academic Edward Said, but they have steadfastly refused to release it to this day, for no discernible reason other than their belief it would damage Obama’s reputation.
• When the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe recently held a conference on human rights, Obama sent an American representative — Salam al-Marayati, a Truther who blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks and who also praises Hezbollah and Hamas. To the nations of Europe, al-Marayati spoke for all Americans on the topic of human rights.
• Obama’s Department of Homeland Security specifically warned that Americans who are “dedicated to a
single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” are potential terrorists, as are libertarian-minded voters who “favor of state or local authority” over centralized power. These “rightwing extremists” (who hold political beliefs shared by a majority of Americans) are deemed a greater threat to the nation than actual revolutionaries or jihadists.
• While campaigning in 2008 Obama declared that it was “unpatriotic” that Bush had increased the national debt at a rate of half a trillion dollars per year; but under Obama the rate of national debt increase has accelerated to almost three times the Bush rate ($6 trillion in new debt in under four years) — yet Obama has never apologized nor declared himself unpatriotic.
• For decades, every president has attended a “daily intelligence briefing” which updates him on critical world events each morning. Obama has skipped 60% of his daily intelligence briefings, including the ones leading up to the attack in Benghazi.
[…Much more to come soon! This is a work in progress that will be added to throughout the day. Keep refreshing the page for updates…]
(Remember an Obama misdeed not listed here? Mention it in the comments section below! Eventually all manysuggestions will be incorporated into the list. [Update: There simply aren’t enough hours between now and November 6 to add the hundreds of great suggestions rolling it; I’ll do as many as I can, but the list will inevitably be incomplete. Read the comments themselves below for many more Obama misdeeds that won’t make it onto the list.)
[To ensure that this post is work-safe, family-friendly, and legal, all photos below have the following parts blurred out:
– exposed genitals
– exposed butt-cracks
– female breasts
– the faces of children or anyone who appears to be a minor
– the faces of passersby who may not wish to be associated with the protest.
If you instead wish to see the unexpurgated NSFW edition, click HERE to view the unblurred zombietime version of this same essay.]
All trends start in California, they say — and all California trends start in San Francisco. That’s why everyone, no matter where you live, should take note of a rally just held in SF to support a growing political movement: the legalization of public nudity.
The “Rally for Nudity,” as it was called, took place in the city’s Castro District on Saturday, October 20, drawing over a hundred mostly naked protesters fighting against a proposed new law that would criminalize nudity in San Francisco. That’s right — probably because no one ever thought such a law was necessary in chilly San Francisco, the city government has never bothered to pass a law forbidding public nudity, and recently a large group of dedicated nudists and exhibitionists have taken advantage of this legal loophole, parading around naked in public on a daily basis, mostly in the Castro District.
Now, responding to complaints from local businesses and clothed neighbors, the area’s City Supervisor — the perfectly named Scott Wiener (no joke) — has proposed a new ordinance banning public nudity in San Francisco. That was the final straw for the naked activists, who announced a clothing-optional public protest against the law on Saturday in Jane Warner Plaza, at the intersection of Castro and Market streets, a busy corner that has become the prime rendezvous spot for the city’s nudists.
From the Castro District they seek to expand the nudity zone outward to all of San Francisco; if the movement gains momentum, could it expand to all of California, and then eventually nationwide?
The protest was both lighthearted and serious at the same time. One protester held a sign saying “No to Scott. Yes to Weiner!” which, despite misspelling “Wiener,” was pretty funny.
The organizers handed out a list of demands, which included not only creating nude areas in all city parks, but also insisted on an apology from Scott Wiener “for starting a witch-hunt against nudists and leather-folk.”
The crowd of protesters swelled to over 100 as the afternoon wore on, with at least as many rubberneckers on the surrounding sidewalks. (The rally didn’t quite reach the 200 attendees who vowed on Facebook to show up, but 100 isn’t half bad.)
The protesters tried to frame the issue as a civil rights and libertarian cause, but look at this sign specifying the rules for Jane Warner Plaza, where the protest was held: According to city ordinances, in the plaza it is illegal to smoke, sell things, sleep, camp, do landscaping or gardening, drink alcohol, and (not mentioned on the sign but still illegal) block the adjacent trolley tracks, have unleashed dogs, and disrupt traffic, among numerous other taboo behaviors. If the protesters were (as they claim to be) resisting on general principles any government restrictions on public freedoms, then why focus on nudity and none of these other oppressive laws? Where is the Rally for Public Gardening?
My God, that man is breaking the law — he’s drinking alcohol in Jane Warner Plaza!
This being an election season, the lure of several hundred politically involved citizens gathering in one place was too great for the Democratic Party to resist. Members of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, the local branch of the Democratic Party, showed up to ply the crowd with voting slate brochures.
This volunteer handed a voting slate to a young child in the crowd. Well, seeing as no one ever checks voter IDs in San Francisco polling places, this may not be as pointless as it seems!
But surely the Democratic Party volunteers weren’t themselves naked — oh. I see.
Actually, being naked was a smart move — the unclothed canvassers had much more success handing out the slate cards than the clothed canvassers did.
“Make sure to vote Democrat on November 6!” A jolly time was had by all.
And the rally was definitely Democrat Country. This is Nancy Pelosi’s district, after all. In fact, a steady stream of Obama supporters walked through the protest.
Most of them seemed to be just passersby…
…but others stopped to soak in the carnival atmosphere.
“America is on the brink!” the Impossibly Talented Orator thundered at the podium. “Only the most extreme measures shall save her!” A lock of his hair, slightly dampened with manly sweat, fell rakishly across one eye. Several women in the audience fainted from excitement. Not a Teleprompter was in sight. The Impossibly Talented Orator looked directly into the souls of every single person in the million-strong audience. “Damn the Democrats and their communist puppetmasters! Rise up for freedom! Rise up for success! Rise up——”
“Willard, your smile is fading a bit,” said his wife Ann, interrupting his reverie. “You know a scowl is not acceptable. You promised to keep a friendly smile pasted on your face for the entire campaign. Now keep waving at those middle-class voters.”
Momentarily confused, Willard Mitty raised his arm and waved at the farmers and unemployed coal miners gathered outside the ’50s-era diner hosting that morning’s photo op. A gentle elbow from Ann jolted him back to the task at hand. He looked at his watch — 10:17. Two minutes behind schedule. Willard ate a corn dog and grinned and shook hands with Likely Registered Voters, and then delivered some prepared remarks to the press pool: “When 18.2% of businesses in southern Ohio have trouble completing the paperwork required under section 47a of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it leads to a reduction of manufacturing output as much as 29.5%….”
Mitty finally exhaled as he entered the campaign bus. “We’ve got an 11:30 at the state fair,” said the Assistant Campaign Manager. “I’ll debrief you on the way.” Mitty sighed and gazed out the window at the passing corn fields as the debriefing droned on in the background.
“Captain Mittington! The dastardly Brits have hoisted the mizzen-mast,” cried the bos’n’s mate. “There’s no stopping them now!” The Captain peered through the fog of war with his trusty spyglass. He noticed what not even the Brits had realized: the Westerlies had stalled and the English fleet was now in the Doldrums. “All men topside!” cried Captain Mittington. “We’re boarding them a-port come hell or high water!”
The Captain swung onto the British deck and landed just as a cannonball broke his rope. Sparks flew from his blade as he repelled the lunges of several limey swordsmen. “Never shall overly taxed tea touch American shores!” the Captain yelled. With two swift strokes of his cutlass he sliced the moorings which held the cargo of tea on deck. “To the sea! To the sea with your accursed tea!” ——
“The Bipartisan Protocol needs another revision by the Compromise Committee,” interrupted Willard’s Ombudsman of Moderation. “I’ve faxed the Mutually Agreed-Upon Points of Reasonableness to your pager.” Mitty looked up, startled. The Compromise Committee? Yes, now he remembered: He agreed to co-chair it at the last Moderate Conference.
“I’m quite sure that the Points of Reasonableness are, well, reasonable,” Mitty said. “Are we at the county fair yet?”
His campaign aides looked at each other nervously. After an awkward silence, one cleared his throat and spoke up. “Willard, the county fair appearance wrapped up 45 minutes ago. Your joke went over great.”
“You know, the one where you say, ‘Why did the chicken only partly cross the carnival midway? Because he wanted to stay in the middle of the road — just like all of you, and me as well!’ It took the Noncontroversial Joke Team three days to come up with that zinger!”
Mitty barely remembered saying the joke and the wild applause from average people it elicited. He must have been going through the motions, as his mind seemed to be elsewhere at the time. But where? What was he thinking? The voices around him faded as he gazed inward.
“Vilard Mitté at your service,” the dashing recruit saluted at the French Legionnaire fort in the Sahara Desert. Glowing ash crumbled from the Gitane cigarette dangling off his chapped lips. “I have marched five hundredkilometres through ze burning sands to relieve your position.”
The Commandant eyed him with disgust and disbelief. “Just vous and no one else? I snort with derision! We are surrounded by Saracens and savage desert nomads who desire death more than we desire life. How can one grizzled but handsome world-weary adventurer save us?”
“How? How?” laughed the dashing Vilard Mitté through his five-o’clock shadow. “Avec le intestinal fortitude, mon commandant!”
One reason why undecided voters remain undecided is that they are uncomfortable with newness. If forced to choose between the familiar and the strange, they tend to retreat to the familiar — if the two options are otherwise similar. But what if the familiar option is now damaged goods? The hesitant chooser then faces a dilemma, whether it’s best to stick with the flawed product you know, or to take a leap of faith and anoint an unfamiliar new product the status of best friends forever.
And thus they become paralyzed with indecision.
Decisive people never face this dilemma. If something fails, they have no problem discarding it and replacing it with a superior substitute. But hesitant, un-self-confident people have difficulty visualizing something that doesn’t already exist. And that makes it difficult for them to make changes in their lives.
This is especially true with momentous decisions. It might be possible, on a brave day, for a hesitant person to test out a new ice cream flavor. But to vote for a total stranger to be president? Whoa whoa whoa, slow down, that’s more than I can handle. It’s so much easier to vote for the existing president because, well, because he’s already called “President.”
Yeah, sure, everyone tells me he’s not a very good president, but I just can’t visualize someone else as president, because, well, because the other guy isn’t called “President.”
Those of you who vote according to your personal convictions or out of a political philosophy might find this kind of dithering hesitancy to be incomprehensible. But it lies at the root of why some voters, even this late in the game, remain “undecided.” It’s not really that they’re undecided, but rather that they haven’t quite yet come to terms with the notion of “President Romney.”
Such people need a little extra encouragement to internalize “President Romney” in their mental vocabulary. And once they become comfortable with the concept, they will feel freer to embrace something new and vote for Romney, because the notion of “President Romney” will no longer be strange and unfamiliar.
Furthermore, if you haven’t made up your mind at this stage, then you are completely resistant to words, arguments, logic, rationality, and information. Your mind must be approached at a subconscious level, perhaps through the pineal gland.
To that end, I have created a new video specifically aimed at undecided voters. It serves one purpose and one purpose only: To make viewers familiar with and comfortable with the phrase “President Romney.” To achieve this, I have carefully overlaid an ever-growing crescendo of voices repeating “President Romney” on a hypnotic visual background, in this case the “Hypnotoad” character from the TV series Futurama.
If you’re reading this analysis, you’ve almost certainly already decided whom to vote for; this video is not aimed at you. Instead, it is aimed at those people who are teetering on the edge of voting for Romney, but first need to become at ease with the concept “President Romney” before pulling that lever for him in the voting booth.
So, I encourage everyone reading this to repost this video wherever you can, especially in non-political Web environments, or in the kinds of places where undecided voters might congregate (presuming there are such places).
To make sharing easy, here is the URL of the YouTube page with the video:
And here is the YouTube embed code, for those sites that require it:
And here is a link to the page itself:
We’ve tried reason. We’ve tried emotion. Now let’s seal the deal with hypnosis!
Things quickly turned sour for President Obama on Monday in San Francisco at what was supposed to be a stopover in friendly territory. Instead, he was greeted by angry protesters from both wings of the political spectrum. Even independent libertarians expressed their disappointment in a president that seems to be hemorrhaging support with each passing day.
Protesters swirled around the entrance to the Bill Graham Auditorium, tormenting the ticket-holders waiting in line to see Obama and radical socialist musician Michael Franti. What made this particular protest unique was that its participants spanned the entire spectrum of American politics, from conservatives to leftists, from marijuana advocates to the NRA, from the Tea Party to Code Pink, from Occupy San Francisco to “Porn Stars for Romney” to PETA, and everyone in between. Who can unite them all? Only Obama!
This Romney fan (who caucused with the Tea Party protesters) pretty much summed up the mood of the day.
Just steps away, this anti-drone activist (who caucused with World Can’t Wait) was even more harsh with hiscriticism of Obama.
The “states’ rights”-minded libertarian marijuana advocates were unhappy with Obama for clamping down on pot clinics, even in states with medical marijuana laws.
They even deployed their most potent weapon, the dreaded Giant Puppet.
Didn’t matter where each protest group fell on the political spectrum — they all were unhappy with Obama.
Who else showed up to protest the president?
Occupy Wall Street? Check.
The NRA? Check.
Code Pink? As always.
PETA went the Full Pachyderm with an angry elephant.
Single-payer health care advocates were miffed about the muddled half-measures known as Obamacare.
“Porn Stars for Romney” entertained the crowds with his roller-skate antics and hilarious “I Built It” costume, but most people could not even figure out whose side he was on. Any protester riffing on “You didn’t build that” is presumed to be anti-Obama, but Mr. Porn Star later seemed to reveal that his Romney advocacy was sarcastic, bewildering onlookers as to what he was protesting for, if anything.
Most likely he was an ideological counterpart to this guy, who hated everyone equally.
After a quick stop in Los Angeles for some high-toned fundraisers on Sunday, Obama started Monday morning with a short visit to the outskirts of Bakersfield where he unveiled a monument to Cesar Chavez. Then he arrived in San Francisco for a hush-hush fundraiser with unknown individuals at the InterContinental Hotel (seen here surrounded by a security cordon of police vehicles) — an event not only closed to the press, but the existence of which was kept entirely under wraps.
Absolutely no one knew about this event — the tiny handful of people on hand were accidental passersby.
The next stop on his itinerary was the Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco’s Civic Center, where Alice Waters and all the trendiest chefs in the Bay Area prepared supper for Obama and any other 1%er millionaires willing to fork over $20,000 per person for the privilege of presidential access (full menu from the event visible here).
Then they all moved into the adjacent auditorium, joined by the hoi polloi (seen above waiting in line) who paid $100 each for tickets to see Obama and a concert by socialist performer Michael Franti, who presumably entertained Obama and the cadres and revolutionary vanguard with some of his trademark lyrics like:
I met a black man who became a police officer
officer, officer, officer, officer, officer, overseer
he tried to tell me it was the only job available
either rob or join the mob ’cause I’m not salable
one night he went out on an undercover sting-ing
bought some smack tried to break the heroin ring-ring
Two cops white cops saw juggling goin’ down
they spilled his brain like homey the fuckin’ clown
Mama Mama Mama Mama I couldn’t say no
got sick and tired of seein’ people bein’ treated ill
picked up my nines, walked up from behind
tapped two of them on the neck so I could meet their eyes direct
I didn’t do it for tha payroll
(Also on the bill was someone named “John Legend.”)
The Obama voters had to run a gauntlet of protest groups on the way into the auditorium.
Various northern California Tea Party groups made up the largest protest contingent by far.
Larry of the Fund47 blog has an extensive slideshow of Tea Partiers at the event.
Many of the Obama fans in line were wearing large buttons that said “I’m Entitled…”, along with some smaller writing that was hard to make out.
I finally got a close-up view of them, only to discover that they read “I’m Entitled…to know how I can get an $87 million IRA in less than 14,500 years. Bay Area for Obama 10/8/2012.” This was apparently an attempt to make some kind of political hay about Romney being wealthy and about his comments on the corrosive entitlement mentality, but the buttons were just a disaster. First of all, it was difficult for random onlookers to read the small text, so it just seemed like all the Obama voters were walking around announcing proudly that they feel “entitled.” But even if you squinted and were able to read to rest of the message, it still was some kind of Democratic in-joke that made little sense to the average person. As for Romney’s sin of being wealthy — what about S.F.’s representatives in Washington, Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein, being among the richest members of Congress with fortunes that rival or surpass Romney’s? Ooops. Meme FAIL.
Yesterday the motley remnants of Occupy Los Angeles finally got around to celebrating Occupy Wall Street’s one-year anniversary (more than two weeks after all the other OWS groups did so.) In fact, this lackadaisical attitude about their own rally perfectly reflected the newly emergent operational philosophy of OccupyLA, which one might deem Anarcho-Laziness: the right to avoid employment.
Once again Ringo of Ringo’s Pictures was on hand at Downtown L.A.’s Pershing Square to record the festivities. A blow-by-blow account of how the one-year anniversary march played out will be posted soon at ringospictures.com; this PJM post will serve as a preview of some of the more amusing scenes.
Distancing themselves from both major political parties — and from any semblance of human decency — the Occupiers proudly showed off their grandest banner, an allegorical Gauginesque painting of a Republican elephant copulating as only an elephant can with a Democrat she-donkey (technically a “jenny“).
But a major theme of the day seemed to be an active antipathy to the notion of work. The Occupiers seek a new societal paradigm in which people laze about and enjoy themselves, while magical fairies and unicorns bring them delicacies on silver trays.
Capitalism, you see, has robbed us all of our free time. If it wasn’t for that mean ol’ capitalism we could just slack off all day! But as the sign at the lower right shows…
…not everybody is clear on the concept. Quoting Karl Marx directly conflicts with the principles of Anarcho-Laziness: the whole point of communism is to ensure that everybody has a job.
Polls polls polls polls polls. In the weeks leading up to a presidential election, that’s all anyone talks about. Polls subsume all other news: Every soundbite, disaster, current event, policy, gaffe, decision and incident are merely vectors in pollspace, data which may or may not nudge the candidates’ numbers up or down a notch.
Therefore he who controls the polls can retroactively control everything that happens: Any event or utterance can be afterward spun as wonderful or ruinous if you can demonstrate that the subsequent poll showed a bounce or a dip. Polls are seen as irrefutable ex post facto evidence that a slanted news report was in fact accurate: “See? You complained when we quickly labeled the candidate’s joke as a ‘gaffe,’ but this new poll shows he dropped three points, so that proves it really was a gaffe.”
As a result, the 2012 presidential campaign is paralleled by a surrogate Poll War enjoined by each side’s supporters in the punditocracy. Whatever else happens in real life, the partisans are in an endless down-and-dirty mud-wrestling match over the veracity and reliability of polls.
The Purpose of Poll-Skewing
Each side has defined for itself an ultimate goal. Obama’s supporters in the media and online strive incessantly to demonstrate and publicize that Obama is ahead in the polls. Romney’s supporters strive to demonstrate that those polls are skewed, since the published totals are “weighted” (i.e. arbitrarily distorted) to match statistics about past voter behavior that are no longer true.
Now, if you had just landed on Earth from another galaxy, you likely would be very confused about this behavior on the part of the poll-wrestlers. Presuming there is such a thing as objective reality, there must be a certain true percentage of people who support each candidate — so what purpose is served by intentionally misrepresenting that reality if, at the end of the campaign, that misrepresentation will be trumped by an actual vote? Isn’t the purpose of polls to reveal a snapshot of how things really stand?
Oh you naive extraterrestrials, we reply. Originally, yes, polls were meant to document reality, but nowadays polls are designed to mold reality. If two candidates are in truth currently tied, but we announce that one of them is in the lead, then on election day he will actually win, because our false poll reporting affected how people vote. Get it?
Amateur Mass Psychology
No, actually, I don’t get it. This entire strategy, which dominates the 2012 election even more than it dominated earlier campaigns, is based on some amateurish assumptions about mass psychology that have never been proven, or even tested. I find it extremely odd that no one has ever questioned these assumptions — until now, at least — because so much depends on them. What if it turns out, after endless person-hours expended on the Poll Wars, that the assumptions justifying poll-skewing are completely wrong?
The Occupy Wall Street movement celebrated its one-year anniversary on Monday, September 17 with birthday rallies in various cities around the country. The “party” in San Francisco only served to remind everyone how pointless, futile, disgusting and irrelevant Occupy has been from the very start.
Unstoppable, baby! Yeah!
Despite the impressive-seeming full schedule of capitalism-smashing “direct actions” all day long, most of them fizzled into nothingness as the first half of the rally quickly devolved into everyone…
…sitting around and painting slogans on Market Street.
Then we all trooped over to the Financial District for a brief rally in front of the Bank of America building (one of the tallest buildings on the West Coast and eternal symbol of the eeeeeeevil banking industry).
And then the assembled four hundred or so protesters marched back to Market Street. This revolutionary act stunned the world! Some people walked up a street, and then later walked down a different street! Gasp!
(Video courtesy of a contributor.)
This video shows the day’s climactic moment, as the marchers chanted “Happy Birthday, Occupy!”
Since nothing really happened of any significance all afternoon and since the rally had no real narrative arc other than a bunch of crazies, bums and activists milling around the city for a few hours, the photos below are presented in no particular order.
On the very day that violent Islamic fundamentalist riots broke out all over the Arab world, one protester stillhadn’t gotten the memo that maybe it’s not so smart to compare the Occupy movement with a revolution that paved the way for the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda to gain political ascendency.
Economic thinking among the Occupiers remained exceedingly uninsightful. This typical sign demanded that we “curb the corporations” and then somehow also guarantee “jobs for the 99%.” But if we’ve just curbed all the corporations, which presumably would entail downsizing and layoffs, then for whom will all these 99%ers be working? I guess the answer would be “the government” in a completely centralized economy. Because we all know how well that worked out in the 20th century. To be honest, I doubt her analysis extended that far: All she knows is that corporations are bad and jobs for everyone are good, end of story.
The anarchists from Occupy Oakland don’t want jobs or a centralized all-powerful government, of course. But let’s not let details undermine our unity!
Yes, unity. Since the very beginning of the movement a year ago, there had never been a unified Occupy front in the Bay Area. OccupySF was distinct from Occupy Oakland which was different from Occupy Berkeley which was even different from Occupy U.C. Berkeley — not to mention Occupy groups in smaller cities nearby. Furthermore, the big city Occupy groups had fractured into squabbling cliques, such as Oakland which broke apart into Occupy Patriarchy and Occupy Gentrification among others, while San Francisco saw the emergence of local neighborhood groups like Occupy Bernal. The end result was a chaotic directionless jumble of competing mini-Occupies jockeying for power in their tiny political pond.
A protester interviewed at the rally tried to put a positive spin on the situation:
“A lot of the groups that were involved in the Occupy movement are still active and doing things but they’ve kind of dispersed. It’s decentralized,” said Zoe Desalle, 25, of Oakland. “There are groups fighting foreclosures. There are groups working on banks. There’s Occupy The Farm and people have gone on (to) different local issues and projects. Which is really cool but it’s also important for people to affirm that we’re still here and doing things…”
But the arrival of the one-year anniversary changed all that. Realizing that each tiny group on its own had no chance of succeeding, they finally decided to band together into OBAU: Occupy Bay Area United. This rally marked the birth of the new united front. And yet, somehow, despite all the Occupies (even extending all the way down to Santa Cruz) coming together for a grand convergence, they still managed just a few hundred participants at most.
At least the few remaining diehards have maintained their anti-American mala fides, as the sign above proves.
In a last desperate clutching at straws, this fellow begged Occupy’s diametric opposites to rescue his flailing movement by joining forces. Sorry, buddy — a little late in the game for that.
Y’know, my friend, I have considered the implications of a maximum wage, and this is what I concluded: In order to prevent people from earning as much money as they desire, we necessarily would have to live in a totalitarian police state which punished success by force — and/or we’d have to implement a 95+% tax rate on business owners. Both of which would lead to economic collapse, widespread poverty, and a culture of fear and oppression.
What makes me depressed is that you haven’t considered any of this.
In addition to the usual motley Occupy crew of smelly homeless bums…
..washed up former radicals reminiscing about the glory days of the ’60s…
…young paranoiacs who reduce everything to a series of Twitter hashtags…
…and union members, we had…
…well, actually, that just about covers everyone.
(Video courtesy of a contributor.)
Here’s an Occupy troubadour singing “The Answer, My Friend, Is Tax the Millionaires,” a so-bad-it’s-funny rewrite of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
At the Bank of America building, many of the protesters stood for a photo shoot holding several large banners made for the occasion.
But what you don’t see in the staged shot is that the organizers had been wildly over-optimistic about the size of the rally and made far more banners than there were people willing to carry them. Most of them remained unused all day.
All sorts of attention-getting political actions had been announced throughout the day, yet most seemed to evaporate or slip by quickly, unnoticed by the majority of participants. For example, at one point we were all supposed to “compost our debt,” but I never saw any composting going on. Later I read that some folks hadsymbolically torn up and thrown away scraps of paper representing their debts, but it was such a minor sideshow that few people saw what happened.
Things have gotten so “meta” in the protest world that people write pre-emptive captions for photos before the photos are even taken, to make sure the story is framed properly. Therefore, I was going to write a caption that said “This is not a tent — it is a symbol of protest,” but now I don’t have to! What a time-saver!
Memo to non-leftist bloggers, reporters, and culture-shapers: TAKE THE GODDAMN GLOVES OFF.
This campaign just got real. From right now until election day, no holds are barred.
The mainstream media has dropped all pretense of impartiality. Their behavior in response to the latest Mideast crisis was blatant, outrageous — and effective. When the world erupted on September 11 and the Obama administration groveled at the feet of our barbarian attackers, the major news outlets — knowing that this was a disastrous turn of events for the Obama campaign which could not be spun in his favor — decided the only solution was to brazenly change the subject to a fabricated peripheral side issue: that Romney had committed some kind of “gaffe” by criticizing the government’s weak-kneed response.
As Obama’s dithering threatened to ignite a world war, a significant percentage of mainstream news outlets blared headlines like ROMNEY GAFFE DERAILS REPUBLICAN HOPES and ROMNEY WON’T BACK DOWN FROM FALSE CLAIM. Of course neither of these headlines (nor countless similar headlines over the past two days) was factually true: The only thing that transformed Romney’s rather mild criticism into a “gaffe” was that the media itself declared it to be so.
The MSM knows full well it manipulates The Narrative, and invariably does so to the benefit of Obama, the Democrats, and “progressivism” in general. And people like you and I know this full well too. But until now the media has at least feigned impartiality, not to trick us but in order to maintain credibility and influence over the Honey Boo Boos.
Who Are the Honey Boo Boos?
Honey Boo Boos is a term I just made up for the last remaining undecided voters in America. As you may have read at the time, the infantile and atrocious reality TV show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo either surpassed or tiedthe viewership totals of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. That means millions of people are so tuned out of politics and so uninterested in current affairs that they’d rather watch a family of obese rednecks abusing their young daughter than learn even the most basic facts about the next president of the United States. These Honey Boo Boo viewers are what pollsters like to call “low information voters,” but that descriptor is not complete: Honey Boo Boos are also low interest voters whose political ideology is either easily malleable or absent altogether.
To that extent they can be easily manipulated — if you can get their attention. But getting their attention is not so simple.
Since about 90% of the evenly split electorate has already chosen their candidates, and are exceedingly unlikely to ever change their minds, the Honey Boo Boos are the only remaining pool of potential voters worth targeting. And the media thinks it has figured out how to target them.
Since Honey Boo Boos barely pay any attention to the “news,” they get their information through a sort of unconscious osmosis of the general national zeitgeist. If enough half-read headlines and talking heads droning in the background say the economy is in the dumps, then the Honey Boo Boos eventually internalize that the economy must be in the dumps. If candy canes and wreaths start appearing in store windows and a few notes of muzak “Jingle Bells” remain audible above the screaming toddlers, then the Honey Boo Boos figure Christmas must be coming up soon. And if a sufficient plurality of media outlets scream that some guy named Romney did something stupid, then this Romney guy must be an idiot.
Really, that’s about how deep it goes.
The media knows that at this stage in the election, the headline is all that matters. And the headline need only be barely supported by some underlying veracity. If you can find some cooperative Democratic staffer to mouth the word “gaffe,” then you’re off to the races with a deceptive headline whose only purpose is to impact the retina of a distracted Honey Boo Boo if only for a second.
Truthaganda vs. Propaganda
Conservatives and libertarians spend far too much time having apoplectic fits over this relentless media bias, even though it isn’t really directed at us, nor even at liberals. If we want to impact the Honey Boo Boos in the same way, then we’ve got to start playing the media’s game, and playing it NOW, since time is running out before November 6.
Too often we non-leftist bloggers, editors and pundits fashion our headlines to appeal to fellow non-leftists, or at least to well-informed “reasonable” readers. But those people have already irreversibly made up their minds, long ago. We’ve got to consciously start targeting the Honey Boo Boos. Metaphorically slap ‘em upside the head.
The goal is to create an enveloping data matrix which gives the Honey Boo Boos a sort of half-aware impression that the narrative we’ve concocted for them is not simply a partisan narrative fighting for their allegiance but rather is simply the way things are.
To that end, the headlines need to be as unsubtle as possible, but still hewing to reality — reality through ourlens.
I call this approach “truthaganda,” to contrast it with the leftists’ more traditional and more mendacious “propaganda.” The progressives have a massive advantage over us because their Gramscian predecessors have gotten a hammer-lock on the mainstream media which they have no intention of ever letting go; but we at least have truth on our side. All we’ve got to do is turn that truth up to 11. Perhaps even 11.5.
Examples From Today’s Headlines
Let’s look at two stories from today’s news stream as examples.
In the first, various outlets reported that the Obama administration has asked YouTube to censor and take offline the goofy anti-Mohammed film, since it offends Muslims.
Now, a fair number of right-minded pundits and bloggers wisely jumped on this story. HotAir, as a typical example, titled their version “White House: Yes, we asked YouTube to consider removing that Mohammed movie.” Most other headlines were similar: Accurate, moderately concise.
But no Honey Boo Boo could get even halfway through that headline. It was directed at pre-existing news junkies. I propose that we emulate our MSM betters by incorporating the next level of assumption into the headline itself; a truthagandistic headline for this story would be
OBAMA IMPOSES NEW BLASPHEMY RULES
Making it big and red like that helps too.
Just as the MSM leapt over the baseline facts and trumpeted in the headline the presumptive opinion that Romney had committed a “gaffe,” so we too will leap over the baseline facts and jump to the the second-tier analysis that this amounts to a unilateral imposition of blasphemy laws through executive intimidation. It’s just as true as, if not more true than, any number of biased headlines that appear hourly without shame in progressive-friendly media outlets (i.e. most of them).
Blogger Ace of Spades came closest, as he often does, to the truthaganda ideal, with his headline:
US GOVERNMENT NOW ACTING AS CENSORSHIP ARM OF ISLAMISTS
Very good. Halfway there. Seven-Eighths of the way there. But perhaps still directed a little bit too much toward the already-convinced, those who even know what an “Islamist” is.
This morning the Federal Reserve announced it was going to embark on a third round of “quantitative easing,”a financial maneuver that already has its own nickname: QE3.
But what exactly is “quantitative easing”? Well, as The Washington Post helpfully explains,
Since the Federal Reserve can just create dollars out of thin air, it can buy up assets like long-term Treasuries or mortgage-backed securities from commercial banks and other institutions. This pumps money into the U.S. economy and reduces long-term interest rates further.
“Create dollars out of thin air” is another way of saying, “Print money.” Since the U.S. dollar is no longer backed by gold or any other commodity other than people’s faith in the government, the Federal Reserve can just print up billions of dollars and hand them out. (“Print” in this situation is entirely metaphorical, of course: the government isn’t actually printing paper bills, but rather just arbitrarily increasing the amount of “money” it has.)
Now, the average person might wonder: If creating money is that easy, then why don’t we just print up $16 trillion and get ourselves out of debt? The answer is interesting: Although the government can increase the amount of cash floating around, it can’t conjure actual value or worth. All it can do is put more money into circulation in an economic system whose underlying net worth remains the same. The end result is that, although the total amount of dollars in circulation increases, the cumulative value of things to buy remains the same — so the intrinsic worth of each dollar is diminished. Another word for this is inflation.
In fact, artificially creating inflation is one of the goals of quantitative easing, in situations where deflation (as happened during the Great Depression) would otherwise be likely to occur. The first round of QE, back in 2008, was indeed enacted to stave off looming deflation.
The Federal Reserve, we can only assume, announced QE3 as an attempt to help the economy, but many experts disagree, with some thinking it will have no effect whatsoever, while others think it could actually hurt in the long run. Quantitative easing is generally thought of as a “shot of adrenaline,” to give the economy an artificial but electrifying quick boost, in the hopes that the boost will be self-sustaining, and optimism will build upon optimism and it will shock us out of the doldrums. But other economists fear that giving adrenaline to an exhausted weak man will not magically make him strong — it will just force him to have a brief period of hyperactivity before it wears off and he collapses, weaker and more worn out than before.
Quantitative Easing in Weimar Republic Germany
I’m not enough of an expert to know if 2012′s QE3 will work as hoped, but I do know about a comparable moment in history when “quantitative easing” went haywire and ended up causing hyperinflation.
Travel back with me to Germany in 1923 and let’s look at what can happen when a government starts printing money with no basis behind it.
The root causes of the hyperinflation in Weimar Germany are complicated and still debated: the wikipedia article on the topic is a good starting point if you’re interested. Germany at the time (just as the U.S. does now) had a crushing national debt, and many other nations felt that Germany intentionally ignited inflation of the German Mark as a way to “inflate its way out of debt” — a strategy some have suggested for the U.S. now, in fact.
But as the citizens of Germany discovered in 1923, once inflation starts heating up, it can quickly reach a level of explosive combustion that even the government can’t control. In the early ’20s, the other nations of Europe, distrusting the stability of the German Mark, began demanding payment in either gold or foreign denominations. So the German government frantically began buying up other nations’ currencies. But those other nations didn’t trust that the Marks they were getting would keep their value, so they demanded a higher and higher exchange rate. So Germany simply starting printing up bills to pay the higher rates, but that only increased the doubts over the Mark’s solvency, and exchange rates rose, and more money was printed, and it spiraled out of control. In early 1923 trust in the value of the German Mark completely collapsed, and it quickly descended toward worthlessness. With every passing month, week, day, hour, the Mark became worth less and less, and the government had to print more and more bills of higher and higher denomination. This lasted until late November 1923, when the Mark was discarded as a currency entirely, and a new national currency — the “Rentenmark” — was introduced, with 12 zeros being lopped off the old prices.
By chance I recently came into possession of a fascinating collection of these now worthless “inflation Marks” from the Weimar Republic. (So many are still floating around that you can pick them up fairly easily at flea markets and collectibles stores.) I scanned the bills and present them below for your edification as to what can happen when “quantitative easing” is overused:
This bill, which is dated February 1920, predates the inflation: It was worth 10 marks, a decent amount at the time. This is our starting point.
Fast forward a few years: By November 1922, the inflation has already become serious. This bill from that month has a denomination of 50,000 Marks, which would have been a fortune back in 1920, but by November 1922 was worth about as much as the 10 Mark bill above.
Now we’re up to February 1923. 100,000 Marks was by this time the equivalent of pocket change.
A few months later, in August 1923, 200,000 Mark bills were as commonplace. But this was just the beginning.(Starting with this bill, it’s not entirely clear on which exact date each note was actually printed; the dates shown on the bills may be the dates that the issuance was authorized. I’ve done my best to keep them chronological.)
A short time later, denominations in the hundreds of thousands has already become essentially worthless. The government began issuing bills worth millions of Marks, such as this 2 million Mark note.
Also from late August or early September 1923, this 5 million Mark note might have gotten you a small loaf of bread if you were lucky. Note that the German Mint was in full panic mode, and had no time to actually print up new bills anymore: they simply began overprinting old bills. In this case, a 20 mark note was overprinted to become a 5 million Mark note.
By September 2, 1923, 10 million mark notes were essentially the smallest bill of any real value; anything less than 10 million was meaningless.
A week or so later, 50 million Mark notes replaced the 10 million Mark notes at the bottom of the currency scale.
By October, 100 million Mark notes were like pennies are to us today.
And finally, this note likely from November of 1923 (according to the dates in the fine print, its issuance was authorized in September and it was supposed to maintain its value until January 1924) was for the princely sum of 500 million Marks. Just a few years earlier, owning 500 million Marks would have made you the richest person in Germany. By November of 1923, it took a pocketful of bills like these — or, famously, a wheelbarrow of lesser bills — just to get a bite to eat.
The following week, all these bills were officially declared worthless, and Germany started over with a new currency.
Does a similar fate await the United States?